Back in the 1940’s at 13740 Almeda Road, the Foley’s Café evolved from an grocery store as Mrs. Foley would take some of the groceries off the shelf and fix customers a sandwich. The establishment changed ownership a few times and renamed the Almeda Diner. It stood vacant for awhile until the new owner, Jimmy Dillard did some major remodeling. The interior of the Fifth Quarter is new looking and downright classy.
Drive down Anderson Rd about a half a mile from Fifth Quarter and another improvement. The plain yard at 3641 Anderson Rd. is no longer plain. It is now the home of Mary’s Garden filled with hundreds of various kinds of flowers and plants with new ones being brought in as Mary sells to people who are delighted to have garden center in the neighborhood.
The biggest improvement of all is the Almeda School. In 1892, the students sat on bales of hay in the White’s barn. Now they have an 82,000 square foot, 12 million dollar complex where the fifth grade students will celebrate their promotion exercises on May 28, 2011.
By 1893, Almeda citizens built a one room school/church which had central air when they opened the windows and heat when the teacher or a parent brought in some fire wood for the wood stove.
esidents living on Anderson Rd.) and G. E. Anderson decided to erect a two story structure in 1914.
The picture does not show the entire facility. They also had a wood shed and an outhouse and of course a good barbwire fence to keep the horses penned up for the teacher and students.
This school was focal point of the community which at that time was about 11 miles from the city limits of Houston. Students from three counties in approximately an eight mile radius attended this school. Some years they had a principal/teacher and another teacher. To graduate, students had to go to San Jacinto High School on Holman their last year. Later, in 1936, another building provided room for a library, gymnasium and more classrooms at the cost of $60,000. The 1937 class was the first and last to graduate from high school at Almeda. The next fall Almeda ISD became part of HISD. In 1956 the old building was replaced providing class rooms for kindergarten. The area was exploding. In the late 1950’s, six new elementary schools were built for some of the 1200 students at Almeda.
Another 50 years slipped by and the buildings became outdated for new methods of education. According to Cecilia Buennell the new building will not use chalk or marker boards, instead they will have electronic smart boards. A 63x57 foot library will provide space for books and other teaching tools. A clock in the tower in front of the school can be seen from the road. The new facility has about 75 parking spaces and slots for 33 computers and of course central air and heat. It is designed for 750 students but at the present 800 plus are enrolled.
The first students to glide across the foyer will be the fifth grade students attending their Promotion Event at 6 p.m. Tuesday May 31st. They will be the first to use the stage which is between the multi-service center and the cafeteria.
Summer school will be conducted in the new school starting Tuesday June 7th at 8am.
Improvement is a totally inadequate word to compare the terrazzo floor in the entry foyer of the new Almeda Elementary School to the barn floor the first Almeda students traipsed across.