Homeowners upset they're not getting new schools

November 4, 2010 4:20:30 PM PDT
Homeowners are frustrated. They say when they bought their homes, they were told school construction was all but a done deal. Schools in the area where their kids already attend are overcrowded and they want something done about it. Some residents in Telfair say when they bought their homes, they were sold in part on the promise that one day a high school and a second elementary school would be built in the subdivision.

Homeowner Dawn Donnelly said, "The builders let us know that there would be an elementary school and a high school, right in this area. We could see it on the map."

The general land plan, which Newland Communities originally filed years ago with the City of Sugar Land, shows the school sites as "proposed." A map we found today at the neighborhood's information center still shows the same. But those who purchased here say that was just a sales tactic. Many didn't call the school district to see if it was a done deal.

"They did put it on the map and it pretty much sold a lot of us and my neighbors to buy in this area," explained homeowner Naushad Kermally.

The developer and Fort Bend ISD have for five years negotiated the purchase of the two plots of land.

"There's been no agreement," insisted Fort Bend ISD spokesperson Ben Copeland. "Developers just, when they develop a piece of property or lay out the land plan, they will sometimes include real estate for schools."

Now the developer has given the school district a date -- January 31, 2011 -- by which it must agree to purchase the land or the developer will decide to do something else with that property.

Alan Bauer with Newland Communities said, "We've asked for them to make a commitment."

A representative for Newland Communities says they are committed to building lasting, quality neighborhoods, which in many cases includes schools. But he insists they would never guarantee schools would be built.

"We tell them what the potential is, but we don't commit to schools being built," Bauer said.

Homeowners hope to meet with Fort Bend ISD officials at a town hall meeting.


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