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Seguin ISD acquires Irma Lewis Outdoor Learning Center

Seguin ISD closed on the purchase of the Irma Lewis Seguin Outdoor Learning Center (SOLC) on Nov. 6.

“The acquisition of the SOLC ensures that the vision of Irma Lewis, which was to create an outdoor education facility for the children of Seguin, will continue in perpetuity,” said Dr. Veronica Vijil, Seguin ISD interim superintendent.

The $1,250,000 purchase of the 122 acre tract located at 1865 E. US Hwy. 90 in Seguin took more than two years to finalize.

“We appreciate the patience of the SOLC board throughout the process of negotiation. Both parties were focused on ensuring that the facility would continue to offer experiences that foster a love for the outdoors. The Seguin ISD school board fully supports continuing the legacy of the SOLC,” she said.

The property is mere minutes from Seguin High School and the Seguin ISD administrative offices. It features bike and hike trails, a ropes course, a pond for kayaking, canoeing and fishing, and archery, skeet and small bore ranges. Structures include a large pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater, classrooms, meeting rooms and equipment barns.

Pete Silvius, Seguin ISD whole child director, has facilitated student use of the SOLC for years. As a close friend of Lewis, who served on the Seguin ISD board of trustees before passing away unexpectedly in 2013, the acquisition is an emotional one for him. While Lewis helped to instill the love of outdoor education in Silvius, he feels that his role is to continue the legacy and pay it forward.

“I think Irma would be proud of the work, time and effort carried out by the SOLC board during the last 10 years. I also think she would be elated to know that Seguin ISD stepped up to the plate to preserve her legacy,” he said.
Now that the district owns the property, short and long term plans are being developed to create and build student use.

“We will prioritize improvements in areas where we can get students out to safely participate in activities. For example, the mountain bike trail and archery range are mostly functional. Learning opportunities that focus on environmental science and aquatic ecology will also be continued,” he said.

The district ultimately plans to create a web page with a list of offerings and booking opportunities for student- and education-based groups interested in using the site.

“The SOLC has a lot of potential for introducing our youth to the outdoors. It is a big responsibility that I am proud to be a part of,” he said.

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