The limping Battleship Texas, which has fallen into disrepair but has really been one of the underrated attractions in Houston, got some good news today: The state released $25 million in bonds for drydocking and repairs for the aging World War II ship.
The not-so-good news: Supporters need to raise $4 million in private donations before they can spend the state's money.
Still, the release of the $25 million is a solid step forward, Colin Parrish, a spokesman for State Rep Wayne Smith, tells Hair Balls.
"Until those bonds are formally released, anything can happen," he says. "A change in leadership, a change in priorities, a change in the state's financial situation, all of it could scare off those funds."
Now the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department can begin the process of taking bids for the project.
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The Texas is the only surviving Navy vessel that fought in both world wars; in the Big One it was the only ship to serve off Europe, Africa and in the Pacific.
Located near the San Jacinto Monument (another underrated destination), the ship is a great place for adventurous kids, or at least it was when my kid was in the single digits. There's tons of ladders to climb, hallways to run down, strange rooms to explore.
Sure, you have to drive through some of the most industrialized scenery known to man to get there, but it's worth it.
The private Battleship Texas Foundation is taking donations for the matching fundraising drive.