School officials and Cletus Bianchi, representing the Facility Advisory Committee shared detailed information about the process that led to the school board’s decision to move forward with the proposed project.
Video from the 45-minute-long meeting is now available for viewing at the mySouTex channel at YouTube -- www.youtube.com/user/mySouTex.
The audio visual presentation gives an overview of the project with detailed plans showing a five phase project, which if approved by voters, could be completed within the next few years.
During the Feb. 10 regular meeting, the Karnes City Independent School District (KCISD) Board of Trustees approved the calling of a bond election for the amount of $45 million, for the purpose of expanding the district facilities with new campuses and additions.
“There were three primary concerns that we came up with,” said Bianchi as he addressed the board. “The first one is that student growth, specifically at the elementary school, is rapidly expanding. Of course, if it starts at the elementary school it bubbles up into the secondary schools that we have…The other problems we’ve encountered is that the high school was built in 1960 and is beginning to experience some structural problems…Finally, the junior high has some maintenance issues that will require attention in the not too distant future.”
Increasing enrollment and aging facilities are the core concerns for the district. District officials state that the elementary campus has added 130 students within the past ten years, leading to its current total of 554 students, with almost 60 percent of that growth coming during the last four years. Enrollment projections show the campus to be overcrowded within the next five years, according to district officials.
The high school main campus building is now over 50 years old. While the structural problems and issues with that building are age-appropriate, the concern arose about its functionality and stability being sustained within the next couple of decades.
Bianchi presented to the board various architectural plans and ideas drawn up by Lamarr Womack & Associates Architects for the proposed bond projects of the campus expansions and additions.
“The committee recommended that the board call for a bond election to be held on May 10,” explained Superintendent Jeanette Winn after the meeting. “The funds would be used to build a new primary grade campus on existing KCISD property located on Browne St. (between Broadway and Mayfield), additional classrooms at the junior high, and a new high school. The secondary schools complex would be built on its current site in phases.
“The total cost for all these projects is $45 million,” she said.
Early voting is underway for the bond election and election for Karnes City ISD trustee positions, which is set for May 10.