The Aldine School District, in Texas, is thinking about using eminent domain to take a man’s longtime residence in order to make room for parking space at a new $50 million football stadium.
On Tuesday evening, the vote will take place by Aldine School Board trustees. This comes six months after being given the first authorization to seize the 1-acre property next to the stadium.
Some in the community and the relatives of 79-year-old Travis Upchurch, a retired carpenter who is the homeowner, are expressing backlash.
Since 1916, the property has been in Upchurch’s family. This is when his family came from Sweden and settled in Aldine as dairy farmers. As the city evolved, Aldine ISD started to buy land close to the home to construct its football stadium that they have right now. It had first opened in 1979.
Upchurch’s family says that they would sell the property to the district after Upchurch dies or at the very least figure out a deal that will let Upchurch continue to reside there. Relatives have noted that Upchurch’s health has started to decline due to the stress of this situation.
In the last several months, Aldine ISD has made several offers to buy the land. Under eminent domain, the government can take property for public use if the owner is paid a fair price. However, the family is encouraging the district to look at other vacant properties that are close to the stadium.
Aldine’s new stadium started being constructed in January 2023 and is expected to open in August 2024. The stadium will be able to hold 10,000 people with its two-tier seating, two-story press box, new concession stands, and a huge scoreboard.