A Unique Bill
Though voter enthusiasm was widespread, Tomball was eliminated from the District bid with the withdrawal of Klein ISD due to the state requirement that the ISDs must be contiguous.
The leaders of Tomball pursued the issue all the way to the state legislature. What resulted was a unique bill, one that fit no other District in Texas, and it allowed the Tomball community to call a special election to become part of the college District. Following the passage of the bill (known throughout Texas as the “Tomball Bill”), the Tomball ISD Board passed a resolution expressing its desire to be a part of the college District; petitions were circulated throughout the community; and in Jan. 1982, the proposal passed by a 3 to 1 margin. The Tomball Bill made Tomball the only independent school district in Texas to become a non-contiguous member of a junior college.
In 1985, the District purchased the 143 acre site on which the college now sits. It then commissioned the architectural firm of McKittrick Richardson Wallace Architects to design a building that both matched the beauty of the selected site and reflected the connection of the college to the community.
The result was a megastructure (a single comprehensive building rather than multiple buildings) which took the form of a cruciform comprised of four wings with each wing named for one point of the directional compass. This award-winning design reflects the mission of the college and its employees: at the center of the cruciform is the Commons atrium area, which is the heart of the college and represents the college’s sense of community; and the four wings that branch off of the Commons represent the desire of the college to radiate educational opportunities to the four corners of the community.
The two existing colleges in the District had been named the south campus and the east campus as originally planned, the college District chose to call the new college the Tomball Campus in recognition of the commitment and enthusiasm of the Tomball community to higher education. The founding president of Lone Star College–Tomball was Dr. Roy Lazenby. One of the first ten employees in the District, a long-time citizen of Tomball, and a man with deep and abiding commitment to education in his community, Dr. Lazenby hand-picked the faculty and staff that became the backbone of the college. At the close of its first registration, 1750 had enrolled. The college dedication ceremony was held on September 25, 1988 and was attended by a thousand members of the Tomball community.