BRAZORIA — Last week’s rain was a vivid example of why the city could use shelters for students to stand in while waiting for the school bus, a councilwoman said.
Councilwoman Roschelle Hicks saw the need and rallied community support to fund five shelters that will be placed around the city.
“I saw we needed it, and I thought it was something that could better the city,” Hicks said.
While the exact locations have not yet been determined, City Council approved the purchase at its Sept. 10 meeting.
“Because there’s only five, we want to put them in the best place we can possibly put them,” Hicks said.
The purchase will not affect the city’s budget, Councilman Gary Kersh said, adding that they were fully funded by private donations.
The funding came from Brazoria Telephone, SouthStar Bank, Tatas for Grandmas at Ronnie’s Ice House, Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Kenjo’s Barbecue, Hicks said. They donated about $2,000 each for each shelter, she said.
Hicks often sees junior high and high school kids standing in the rain on FM 521 to wait for their school bus, she said at the council meeting.
When it’s raining really hard, they wait inside a nearby store, she said. But since the bus driver can’t see them waiting inside the store, they risk getting passed up and missing school, Hicks said.
Councilwoman Gail Logsdon said she often sees students come into school soaking wet and looks forward to Brazoria students having some shelter.
Denise McCaskill, a retired teacher with 32 years of experience, said she thinks Hicks’s plan is extremely important.
“I know that when kids get to school looking disheveled, they feel like a standout, like kids notice,” McCaskill said.
Kids already know who rides the bus and who is dropped off by their parents, she said, adding that it’s like a hierarchy among them. When kids fix their hair and have it messed up by the rain, or their shoes get wet and muddy, it can set them on a negative path for the rest of the day, McCaskill said.
“Kids that age don’t need extra baggage, because they already have enough,” she said.
This is a small effort, but any port in the storm can improve children’s attitudes, she said.
Council discussed the liability if something were to happen to a student using the shelter. City Attorney Charlie Stevenson said typically the property owner is responsible for anything that happens on the property.
Hicks ordered the shelters Thursday and hopes to have the locations determined as soon as possible, she said. Though the city is starting with five, she hopes to get more funding and shelters in the future, Hicks said.
“Hopefully this project will grow into something more,” she said.