Superintendent Brett Belmarez said that the plan is still to have the school ready for the expected 350 students next year.
Even as the frame is going up, Belmarez knows that there is a lot of work to do even once the structure is built.
“Just having the building done is one thing. We have to get it wired. We have to get proper signage up,” he said. “We have to train our clientèle to where it is and all the driving and parking changes.
“We have definitely got a full plate.”
Even with the extensive workload looming, Belmarez is confident the school will be ready for next year’s youngsters.
Five months ago, school district trustees gave their approval for Belmarez to begin negotiations with Bartlett Cocke Co. of San Antonio.
Last November, voters approved a bond to fund the building.
The new school — the first to be constructed by the district since 1980 — is being built west of the Skidmore football stadium.
Designed to hold 400 students, it will replace the current school, built in 1953.
The 45,000-square feet building, sitting on a 27.5-acre piece of property behind the district’s athletic stadiums, will be in a U-shape with the front door facing east. Classroom windows will let in natural light from the north and south.
One side of the “U” will contain classrooms for pre-kindergarten through second grade. The other will house third- through fifth-grade classrooms.
The base of the “U” will be a main corridor where the administration offices, library, music room and cafeteria can be found.
The gym will be entirely enclosed and on the south side of the building. It will be about 3,000 square feet.
About 16 months ago, the district was notified that the elementary school building was “educationally and economically obsolete.”
The study was done by the Texas Association of School Administrators. That study also suggested the building of a new high school — something the district has not yet tackled.
More than 90 percent of the classrooms in the elementary school and high school are smaller than state minimum standards and don’t lend themselves to cost-effective “fixing” for long-term use, the study also said.
Paul Trautman, who has been studying the layout and condition of the three Skidmore-Tynan ISD campuses, told trustees during those early meetings that, along with building the new school, he would recommend moving it from its current location. Trautman is with Genesis Partnership, a Texas Association of School Administrators facilities consultant.
That recommendation prompted the trustees to choose the location adjacent to the district’s campus for the new school.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.