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Report: ‘Abandon S-T High School, Elementary ASAP’
by Scott Reese Willey
Jan 15, 2010 | 1122 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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Skidmore-Tynan High School and Elementary School are too old, too small and too costly to remodel and should be abandoned as soon as possible, a state agency recommends.

At least one of the campuses, either the high school campus or the elementary school campus should be relocated to another site, the agency suggested.

Even the middle school, the newest campus, is in dire need of renovation, the report revealed.

“The classroom buildings at the high school and elementary school are educationally and economically obsolete,” according to the Texas Association of School Administrators, which studied the campuses. “Both should be taken out of service for regular instruction as soon as possible.”

Skidmore-Tynan Superintendent Dr. Brett Belmarez shared the preliminary report of TASA’s study with trustees on Monday. “This report is good to have, but it’s not good news,” he said.

TASA representatives are scheduled to explain their findings in more detail to trustees during the February board meeting.

Belmarez said he wanted to give the school board a sneak peak at the study so that trustees would have time to prepare questions for the upcoming presentation. TASA completed its facility study and long-range planning report in December.

The study seems to suggest that either the high school or elementary school can remain in its present location, as long as the campus building is rebuilt and the other one moved to another location to improve traffic flow and safeguard students and staff.

Because all three campuses are located at the same site, dropping off and picking up students is hazardous, as is parking and walking around campuses, the report noted.

Here are key findings of the study:

• STISD’s student population grew from 689 in 2000-01 school year to 772 in the 2009-10 school year, and is projected to grow to 868 students by 2019-20.

• The high school, middle school and elementary school campuses are between 23 and 56 years old.

• Over 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.

• Schools’ average condition score is 53.7 percent. The high school score is 44.1 percent; the middle school score is 70.2 percent; and the elementary school score is 46.7 percent.

• Campuses which condition is 45 percent or below should be abandoned as soon as possible. Campuses which condition is between 45 percent and 60 percent should be abandoned or completely renovated.

• The classroom buildings at the high school and elementary school are educationally and economically obsolete. Both should be taken out of service for regular instruction ASAP.

• Ultimately, at least one school should relocate from the current site, unless it can be expanded and safe and suitable vehicular circulation designed.

• The high school should be relocated or the (present) site redeveloped for high school/secondary use.

• The elementary school should be relocated to suitable facilities in a safe and secure situation.

• As the district has grown, the sharing of facilities, such as the cafeteria, library and band hall, has caused problems. The campuses need their own support services.

• Vehicular separation and circulation, crossing streets and parking are serious concerns and all need to be addressed — now and as part of any replacement or upgrading.
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