League City event will showcase Art Deco building’s past and new role

League City is going to host a coming out party, and the belle of the ball promises to be an 84-year-old building that holds school memories for some residents.

League City Community Center, 400 S. Kansas, will be the site of an open house scheduled for 5-8 p.m. on Sept. 3. It will be the first chance for many in the community to get an up-close look at how the old school was reused.

The building opened in 1938 as League City Elementary School, and the structure is considered a landmark in the city, having served multiple purposes over the years.

Not too long ago, it was determined that the building had lost its usefulness and the Clear Creek School District was considering demolishing it. That’s when the city of League City stepped in, and now the municipality leases the building for $1 a year from the district.

The building was in good condition as the school district upgraded it when the structure housed students while League City’s newest elementary school campus was under construction before it opened in 2019.

“Then we went in and put new carpet on, painted the walls and did some roof repairs,” city spokeswoman Sarah Osborne said.

What: An open house is scheduled at League City Community Center, 400 S. Kansas, which was built in 1938.

When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., September 3

Where: League City Community Center, 400 S. Kansas, League City

Details: 281-554-1250

“We knocked down a few walls so we could have bigger spaces where we could hold a yoga class or be able to have 100 kids in a room at the same time. The gym is amazing. It’s really huge. The scene is really cool.

Part of the restoration project will be eye-catching. Above the front door, “League City Elementary School” was spelled out in metal using an Art Deco-like font. While the letters “Elementary School” have been removed, the original 1938 lettering for “League City” remains, and a local craftsman has matched the font and crafted letters that spell “Community Center.”
The center was used for the first time this summer as a camp site.

“We were able to have a lot more children because of (the size of) the building.” said Osborne.

But it wasn’t just the children who showed up.

“We kept having people stop by the building to give a tour because they went to school there and wanted to walk down Nostalgia Lane,” Osborne said. “We keep having to turn them down because (we were) having a summer camp.”
Those who wish to revisit the building will have their chance at the open house, which will be co-hosted by the League City Historical Society.

“We’re going to invite everyone who went to school there and do (something) a story hour where people can share their memories,” Osborne said. “League City ballroom dancers will be there to do popular dances from the 1940s, 50s and 60s when the school was in its heyday and we will be hosting tours.”

Osborne said school yearbooks dating back to the 1930s will be on hand. She said residents donated souvenirs.

“A gentleman put down a banner from 1934; so this was from the old high school before the (community center building) was built, about them being the galveston county basketball champion and we’re framing this and going to hang it in the building “, she said.

The centre’s art deco architecture makes it a rarity in League City.

“There really aren’t many,” said Richard Lewis, vice president of the historical society. “That’s one of the reasons we wanted to save him.”

Lewis is pleased with the renovations.

“They saved the building, on the one hand,” he said. “But the other thing is they made it a lot prettier. There were some weird colors in there. Like the 1980s avocado and for a period, maybe the 1960s , there was a strange pink-orange color (which was popular) Everything was taken care of.

“The whole building looks so much better.”

John DeLapp is a freelance writer. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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