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Courtesy of HISD

(HOUSTON) — The news is not good for those who wanted to preserve the original Wheatley High School structure in Houston’s Fifth Ward community.

The Houston Independent School District school board voted Thursday to tear down the high school, but agreed to build the new school in the same architectural design, using some of the original material.

District spokesperson, Sheleah Reed, explained, “What we’re proposing is creating a grand hallway that’ll be like a museum of sorts that showcases the students and graduates who once went through schools that were on that site, to allow people and students who do go to that school to really appreciate the history.”

But Kathy Blueford-Daniels was not happy.  She is part of the group of alumni, community leaders and preservationists fighting to save the 85-year-old building. She said HISD did not honor the agreement it made during mediation.

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Courtesy of HISD

“HISD is the chief bully,” Blueford-Daniels said. “We talk on a Saturday and nothing had been done to the building.  Then on Sunday, why was there suddenly a big hole in the very area we were talking about saving?”

Blueford-Daniels said her group wants to keep the front facade and part of the original building to turn it into a museum honoring past students like Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and Congressman Mickey Leland.  Reed said the new school will house the Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men.

Blueford-Daniels warned the fight is not over, saying her group plans to take their case to the federal government.

The original Wheatley High School is located on Gregg Street, just over a mile from the current Wheatley High School location on Providence Street.

The current Wheatley High School location is not impacted by the demolition of the original school building.

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