With a little time off for the holidays, I have decided to take it easy with the posts. I would talk about Mike Leach, but I don’t like getting into politics. Besides, R. Kelly has already written the seminal work about being trapped in the closet.
However, there is a local — mostly historical — subject that has been itching my brain for some time now: Lubbock County precinct clubhouses.
Precinct clubhouses are county-owned buildings that are available for community use for a nominal fee. They usually have a kitchen, bathrooms, and a nice open room or two — perfect for club meetings, community gatherings, and small-to-medium-size events. Each clubhouse has a paid caretaker, employed part-time by Lubbock County, who handles scheduling and makes sure the clubhouse runs smoothly.
Roosevelt, Slaton, Idalou, Shallowater, Wolfforth, and New Deal: these are the current locations of precinct clubhouses maintained by Lubbock County. Readers will no doubt notice one glaring omission — there is no precinct clubhouse in the Lubbock city limits.
We used to have one precinct clubhouse in the Lubbock city limits. It was near 50th and Slide Rd (5012 50th St), next to a McDonald’s for a long time. I fondly remember playing in chess tournaments there as a kid. Sometime in the 1990s, Lubbock County sold the land that the clubhouse was on. It was demolished, and another building exists there now.
I don’t know why the precinct clubhouse in Lubbock was sold. Perhaps it was a territorial issue with the city of Lubbock, perhaps it was done to save money by a penny-pinching Commissioners Court, or perhaps it was for some other reason entirely. Whatever the reason, I think that eliminating a precinct clubhouse was a mistake.
I believe we need many more precinct clubhouses, mostly within the Lubbock city limits. A precinct clubhouse provides a safe place for clubs and groups to meet and creates community pride and “neighborhood-ness” where they might not otherwise exist. They could be places for kids to go after school or in the summer; they could be used to promote the arts and as a venue for charity events. Lubbock County citizens would get a real quality of life boost for a modest investment of taxpayer money.
Thanks to Mandy Reeves at Lubbock County for answering my questions over the phone regarding the history of precinct clubhouses.