Uvalde school shooting: HEB, Charles Butt family donates $10 million to replace Robb Elementary School

UVALDE, Texas – The Charles Butt family and grocery retailer HEB have pledged $10 million to the Uvalde School District to build a new school to replace Robb Elementary, the site of the mass shooting that killed 19 children and two last month teachers were killed.

The video above is from a previous report.

The donations went to the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s new non-profit arm, the Uvalde CISD Moving Forward Foundation, which is asking for donations to help make the district’s schools safer, building the new school and building a memorial park at the Robb site help.

SEE RELATED STORY: Superintendent of Uvalde confirms Robb will close Elementary after fatal shooting

“It will definitely be part of the healing process,” said Hal Harrell, Superintendent of CISD in Uvalde, of the donation.

Established in 2000, the foundation to support educational, cultural and healthcare institutions is named after HEB Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charles Butt. HEB is the largest private employer in Texas.

Harrell said the district will hold community meetings so residents of Uvalde can have input on what the new school building will look like. Pupils due to attend Robb Elementary in the autumn – around 550 pupils – will be placed at two other Uvalde primary schools.

The district will work with Fort Worth-based architectural firm Huckabee, which specializes in designing public schools, and Joeris, a San Antonio-based construction company. Both companies donate their services. The donations from the foundation and the HEB are used for construction and planning material.

SEE RELATED STORY: Humble ISD police chief says Uvalde officers should have been trained to ‘stop the killing and bleeding’

“I’m just beyond grateful,” Harrell said. “Humanity showed up in a big way.”

Harrell said he hopes the district can open the school in the summer of 2024.

“Our first store in Uvalde opened in 1959 and Uvalde’s employees are our employees,” Butt, chairman and CEO of HEB, said in a statement. “As we continue to mourn a tremendous loss, I am working with my family and HEB to ensure the Uvalde community can weather this tragic event. Our children are the future of this country and our schools should be a safe place for children to thrive and envision new opportunities.”

WATCH: Uvalde teacher who survived school shooting shares his story

The timeline for Robb Elementary’s destruction has yet to be determined, said Anne Marie Espinoza, Uvalde’s CISD spokeswoman. The goal is to replace the Robb Elementary School building with a memorial park where children and families can spend time together in an uplifting environment.

The school itself has sentimental value for many Uvalde residents whose families have attended the school for generations. It was also the site of a 1970 strike by Mexican-American students who took a stand after a popular Hispanic teacher’s contract was not renewed.

There have been talks between state and federal officials to demolish Robb, but so far, Harrell said, no such officials have been directly involved in any plans. But if the government wanted to get involved, he said he would welcome it.

In Robb, south of downtown Uvalde, most of the second through fourth graders went to school. With Robb there are five elementary schools in the district, each of which is assigned to several classes of specific grades.

Most of the students who went to Robb will be transferred to Flores Elementary, Harrell said. In Flores, most fifth and sixth graders attend school in Uvalde.

Students entering second grade in the fall remain at Dalton Elementary, which normally serves students from preschool through first grade.

“Our children are our future and the best step forward is a great education and I truly believe this new building will go a long way towards manifesting that for our students here in Uvalde,” said Harrell.

SEE ALSO: “We have to go in”: Officers in Uvalde stood ready with weapons, shields, tools – but without clear orders

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that educates and collaborates with Texans on public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

https://abc13.com/uvalde-school-shooting-charles-butt-family-heb-donation-to-10-million/12001158/ Uvalde school shooting: HEB, Charles Butt family donates $10 million to replace Robb Elementary School

Dais Johnston

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