HOUSTON – Big changes are happening for the American Legion Post 490 on Galveston Road near Ellington Airport, in Southeast Houston. The post caught on fire last year and since then the Commander and people in the community have been working on a new plan.
On Saturday, the post held a groundbreaking ceremony, and dozens attended the big celebration.
People said goodbye to the old building that was severely damaged and hello to an empty lot that will soon be the new post at the end of the year.
Commander John Cronin says he’s glad everything is coming together.
“It’s like a thousand pounds just lifted off my shoulder. I finally get to show the general members exactly what we are doing and what we’ve been doing for six months,” Cronin said.
Back in September of 2021, KPRC 2 spoke to the Commander’s wife Denise after a fire left extensive damage inside the building and left many items destroyed.
“I can’t believe this happened. This American Legion has such a legacy,” Denise said.
With help from the public, fundraisers, donors, and organizations the new American Legion Post 490 will have a new facility. The old building will be demolished and used as a parking lot.
People in the community, veterans, commanders and county officials celebrated during a groundbreaking ceremony.
“We are going to have 11,400 square foot building, five offices so that each program of the American Legion will have their own office and the hall will be represented to have over 300 people for functions and that’s going to be fantastic,” Cronin said.
Cronin says the building will also feature four pillars that represent Americanism, Children and Youth, National Security, and Veterans. After the ceremony, the post had a big party and several members say they are excited about the future.
“I was kind of wondering how it would look after they rebuild. I’ve seen the blueprints and I’m very, very excited about it,” Ulysses Robertson said.
Cronin says the goal is to have the grand opening on November 11.
To learn more about the American Legion Post 490, click here.