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Trustees Select Lee Martinez as Name for Hutto’s Newest Elementary School

HUTTO, Texas — The Hutto ISD Board of Trustees voted Feb. 22 to officially name the District's eighth elementary school in honor of longtime local resident and former school employee Lee Martinez.

The naming of the school followed a process that involved nearly 300 submissions from the public to name Hutto ISD’s eighth elementary school, which is scheduled to open in Fall 2025. Trustees reviewed the submissions after the District solicited naming nominations online throughout the month of January 2024, in alignment with the Board Policy Local CW, which serves as a guide in naming Hutto ISD facilities.

"Hutto ISD is fortunate to have so many deserving individuals and names from which to choose when selecting the name for a new school in our community. This was a very difficult decision that was made after significant deliberation," Logiudice said. "In the end, we believe Lee Martinez’s service and impact on our school district and the Hutto community mirror our vision to inspire excellence in academics, character and community among our students.”

Born March 25, 1929, Hilario “Lee” Juan Martinez lived his entire life in Hutto prior to his passing at the age of 92. Martinez was employed by the Hutto Co-Op where he served 52 years as a ginner and truck driver within the feed department.

Lee MartinezDuring his tenure with the local agricultural Co-Op, Martinez also served Hutto ISD for more than two decades as a dedicated school bus driver beginning in the 1970s. Due to his enjoyment of working with the community’s youth, the Co-Op allowed him time off work to drive school buses on both morning and afternoon routes, and spending weekends taking students to out-of-town games and other trips.

Martinez also coached a local Little League team for several years and served as a deacon in his church where he and his wife, Gloria, a Sunday School teacher, guided the youth in their faith. His wife, Gloria Balderas Martinez, worked at the Hutto ISD school as a cook where she made all the meals from scratch. She worked in the cafeteria for 10 years until retirement.

The Martinez family were the first to establish the local Santa Maria Cemetery, located on Jake’s Hill where Lee Martinez was born and raised, and within the vicinity of where Farley Middle School is now located. His wife, Mrs. Gloria Martinez, continues to live in Hutto on Pecan Street near the original Hutto school building.

Martinez established deep roots in Hutto leaving a legacy of five generations of Hippos as their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren attended or currently attend schools within Hutto ISD.

Lee Martinez Elementary is the first new school to be constructed as authorized by voters as part of the $522 million 2023 Bond program. The campus will be constructed on approximately 20 acres within District-owned property adjacent to the Hutto 9th Grade Center along Destiny Lane and FM 1660 North, which has been master planned to house the full build-out of Hutto High School #2, Lee Martinez Elementary, a future middle school, and a future performing arts center.

Designed by LPA Architects with input from current elementary students, parents, community members and District staff, Lee Martinez Elementary will serve 800 students in Pre-K through 5th grades. In addition to the core educational spaces, District leaders with the backing of Hutto ISD’s Board of Trustees, will include a Little Hippos Daycare Center as part of the overall campus project to provide early childhood learning opportunities for more than 100 enrollees.

When completed, Lee Martinez Elementary will be a campus where Hippo Nation’s youngest learners thrive. Design features and highlights include general learning areas with collaboration neighborhoods; exterior playscapes and learning courtyards to allow for extracurricular and outdoor learning activities; a centralized library with learning commons; and a combined gymnasium and multipurpose cafetorium.

Working with Hutto ISD leadership and committee members helping to guide the process, the District’s architectural partners have planned a new elementary school that is traditional yet transformational; inclusively designed for all learners and abilities; resourceful in its space utilization, but flexible to provide multi-use areas; and a campus that is aligned with Hutto ISD’s vision and mission. In addition, Lee Martinez Elementary will align to the recently-adopted educational specifications and safety and security standards.

As outlined in the most recent Bond program, Lee Martinez Elementary will provide enrollment relief for the north-central areas of Hutto ISD, primarily Hutto Elementary and Cottonwood Creek Elementary, which have exceeded functional capacities due to the rapid growth of student headcount in the District.

Hutto ISD anticipates hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the school later this spring to officially commence construction of its newest campus. Details about the event will be made available to the public and online.

In the coming months, Hutto ISD will create a committee to review and draft new Elementary School Attendance Boundaries for its eight elementary schools — a process similar to the recent Middle School Attendance Rezoning that was necessary ahead of opening the District’s third middle school campus, Gus Almquist Middle School, in Fall 2024.