Although it is too soon to tell, labor, construction and other building costs could be increasing as soon as a month from now, according to the architecture firm hired to handle San Marcos CISD’s bond projects. Koleman Uresti, the architect hired to tackle the school district’s new elementary school and other campus improvements, said inflation is expected thanks to the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in late August. “We’re really keeping an eye on [costs],” he said Monday night during a SMCISD board of trustees meeting. view article arw

Two weeks after hurricane Harvey, Soni Herrera is trapped at her home – a home she and her family cannot yet live in. Like many of the tens of thousands of Houstonians flooded out of their houses, Ms. Herrera, her husband, Jaime, and their four children benefited from the indiscriminate bravery of her community during and immediately after the storm. Neighbors helped them flee as the floodwaters crept under their doorway and rose past their knees. Friends took them in, squeezing them and another family of five into a three-bedroom home within earshot of the controlled explosions at the Arkema chemical plant. view article arw

The Northeast Independent School District is giving people interested in helping rename Robert E. Lee High School one week to submit their ideas. At a meeting Monday evening, the school board said “the name should reflect an idea, not a person.” The board is seeking a name that is “wholesome” and “welcoming and identifiable to the general public.” view article arw

San Marcos CISD’s newest elementary school will feature glass elements, courtyards, an outdoor community space and a two-level media center once complete. The SMCISD board of trustees approved the schematic design of the new  90,000-square-foot elementary school by a vote of 6-0—with board President Clementine Cantu absent—on Monday night after hearing a presentation from Perkins+Will, the architecture firm behind the project. view article arw

Highland Park ISD Construction Updates

September 1908:25 AM
 

Piers have been poured for the new school and foundation walls will begin forming for the parking garage next week. Construction is on track for the building to open on time in August 2018. Below are a couple of recent photos taken at the site. view article arw

The Tyler ISD Board of Trustees met for its regular meeting Monday. Part of the agenda was dedicated to board discussion surrounding the policy of naming facilities and buildings in the school district, and during that discussion, their comments spilled over into what they thought about the public's continued interest in keeping or changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School. view article arw

Hold on, y’all. Sam Houston Elementary isn’t going to change its name, at least not anytime soon.  After initially stating that it would do more research into the names of 20 campuses, investigating the connections with slavery or the Confederacy of those for whom the schools were named, Dallas ISD is taking a different course.  Instead of more research, the district is focusing on a narrow set of parameters to only rethink schools named after Confederate generals, said chief of school leadership Stephanie Elizalde. view article arw

The Northwest Independent School District wants the public's help naming a new elementary school.  The district's board of trustees and administration asked Monday for people to submit nominations for the district's 18th elementary school set to open in August 2018.  view article arw

This school year, Pearland ISD’s Robert Turner College and Career High School enrolled 1,200 students, which is nearly 100 percent of the campus’ 1,250 student capacity. By the end of the 2017-18 school year, PISD Director of Facilities and Planning Don Tillis said the school will likely be at total capacity. “Usually as the year goes along, we are projected to go right at capacity for this year,” Tillis said. “Last year, we were pretty close also.” view article arw

Dallas ISD is researching the histories of Ben Franklin, Sam Houston, Thomas Jefferson and 17 other historical figures, looking into whether their connections with slavery or the Confederacy should prompt reconsideration of their names on DISD campuses.  Last Thursday, DISD administration recommended changing the names of four schools honoring Confederate generals: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and William L. Cabell elementary schools. During that discussion, it was mentioned that there is a much broader list of at least 21 names that bear further investigation, if trustees were compelled to do so. view article arw

Port Aransas ISD students can expect to return to the district on Monday, Oct. 16, according to Superintendent Sharon McKinney. Classes will be held in portable buildings until the schools are repaired from damages caused by Hurricane Harvey, she said. A bid for portable classrooms was approved at a school board meeting this evening, view article arw

Rehearsals are in full swing inside Del Valle High School’s new fine arts addition. Saturday morning, students, parents and school officials were on hand for a ribbon cutting outside the shiny red double doors.The additional 19,239 square feet of space includes a dance studio, a band rehearsal hall and a common space. view article arw

Marshall ISD trustees on Thursday set the stage to take action on some agenda items during Monday's regular board meeting to begin improvements and updates at Marshall High School. The district plans to use leftover bond money to make some much needed updates to the high school campus. Marshall ISD Superintendent Jerry Gibson said Thursday that the district will not know exactly how much bond money it will have leftover from the construction of the district's four new campuses and the renovation of Sam Houston Elementary School until the October board meeting. view article arw

Just a few days after Hurricane Harvey, Pasadena ISD's director of fine arts, Linda Fletcher, walked through the doors of the fine arts wing at Thompson Intermediate School and wept. Then she took a deep breath and braced for the hard work needed to get her students back on track. The campus had been underwater by up to 5 feet, leaving 90 percent of the school's music equipment destroyed. view article arw

Dallas ISD's efforts to change the names of campuses that honor the Confederacy just got a lot more tangible — and possibly a lot more interesting.  During Thursday's board briefing, DISD trustees unanimously expressed interest in supporting name changes at four schools named after Confederate generals — Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and William L. Cabell elementary schools. The future might hold even more alterations. District administration compiled a list of at  least 21 other school names that administrators say are connected to the Confederacy, slave owners and segregationists. Some trustees showed interest in approving changes to those schools eventually. view article arw

 After three years and few answers, McNeil High School parent Amy Weir says she’s frustrated with the slow construction process at her childrens’ school. Weir was on the bond committee for McNeil High School and voted for remodeling the school in a 2014 bond election. She fully supports upgrading McNeil High, but not the long process she says it has taken to get there. “At the district level, they have not done their job and nobody’s held them accountable,” said Weir. view article arw

While school was out for the summer, officials at Grapevine-Colleyville and Carroll ISDs were busy working on several bond projects that are part of the districts’ five-year bond issues. In May 2017, CISD voters approved a $208 million bond that focuses on alleviating capacity issues as well as many upgrades and maintenance projects throughout the district. Voters in GCISD approved a $249 million bond package in May 2016—the largest bond package in the district’s history. view article arw

A tour provided to the media by Austin ISD staff today showed severe structural deficiencies and educational challenges at Rosedale School, one of the campuses slated for a rebuild if the district’s $1.09 billion bond is passed by voters this November. Students with severe cognitive, social and behavioral disabilities and medical needs are housed on the Rosedale campus. view article arw

The public is invited to tour the newest education building in the Wichita Falls ISD this evening. The Career Education Center open house is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. this evening and is expected to last until 8:00 p.m. at 500 E. Hatton Road.  view article arw

The Austin Independent School District gave KXAN a tour of three campuses as it gears up to put their biggest bond in history on the November ballot.As AISD prepares for a $1.05 billion bond election, school officials wanted to show off how 2013 bond dollars have revamped aging campuses like Winn Elementary School in east Austin. New floor tile, lighting, office space and a new stand-alone library wing were completed last school year. view article arw

Based on statements from the construction contractor’s project manager and a Mission Consolidated Independent School District official, there will be at least two more football games played in rented stadiums due to continuing construction delays on the new Tom Landry Hall of Fame Stadium at Mission High School. That means tonight’s scheduled game between the Veterans Memorial High School Patriots and the Laredo Martin High School Tigers had to be played last night  at La Joya High School.  view article arw

Most adults’ memories of school safety measures are limited to walking single file down a hallway during the occasional fire drill. Today, security begins with the very design of a school’s campus. The touch of a button can seal off all exterior doors, protecting students inside from an aggressive dog, a suspect being pursued by police, or a potential school shooter. Even under normal circumstances, access is limited. At the new George W. Bush Elementary school, in the Wylie Independent School District, the front doors of the school open into an enclosed glass room, where visitors confront a second set of locked doors. The only way to proceed is through a side door that leads directly into the main office. view article arw

School officials remain unsure when Port Aransas ISD will open, but hope to know more by week’s end, said Superintendent Sharon McKinney.  PAISD began accepting bids for between 40 and 50 portable classrooms on Thursday, Sept. 7. The bidding process ended after the South Jetty’s press deadline on Tuesday, Sept. 12.  view article arw

The controversy surrounding schools named after Confederate icons is not new to Dallas ISD, but the process to rename them could be. On Thursday Dallas ISD trustees will hear a proposal that would expedite the renaming process for several schools named after Confederate figures. view article arw

Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees candidates drew for ballot positions this week, and officials have announced the finalized order: view article arw

About 95 percent of businesses in Victoria have reopened after Hurricane Harvey, said Randy Vivian, president of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce. "That's an amazing statistic," Vivian said. "History has shown you lose a significant portion of businesses." More than 130 representatives from the business community attended the chamber's September luncheon Wednesday at the University of Houston-Victoria. view article arw

A new state-of-the-art elementary school in Temple has opened its doors. Thornton Elementary School on Cottonwood Lane welcomed in its first set of students on Aug. 28. The new school is replacing the nearly 60-year-old school on Pin Oak Drive. “It was nice to be able to take the tradition of the 60-year-old Thornton and bring it over to a new building. We’ve had so many parents who’ve actually graduated from here, so they get to experience the whole new Thornton," Principal Craig Wilson said.  view article arw

Preliminary estimates indicate repairs from Hurricane Harvey could exceed $5 million in Clear Creek ISD, with damage reported at many campuses. Brookside Intermediate School in Friendswood was hit the worst, district spokeswoman Elaina Polsen said. "Of our 45 campuses, 44 suffered damage ranging from minor roof leaks and broken glass to almost 5 inches of flood water damage at (Brookside)," she said. view article arw

The Humble ISD board approved zoning plans for Middle School #9 at a meeting Tuesday, Sept 12. A unanimous vote confirmed the most favorable out of six options for parents and will alleviate much of the overcrowding at Timberwood and Willowcreek middle schools. view article arw

Excess revenue from advertising at Pine Tree ISD's stadium is being used to start a stadium repair fund for future needs. School board members voted this week to move $50,000 of advertising revenue into a stadium repair fund. The goal is to begin saving money for anticipated stadium repairs, such as new turf. view article arw

For the first time next month, a Chisholm Trail Middle School football team will play a true home game. Northwest ISD completed its renovation of the campus’ field and track recently, transforming a grass field unsuitable for competition into a state-of-the-art facility with turf, bleachers, a press box and a new scoreboard. view article arw

Construction is set to get under way later this month on a decades-in-the-making project to build new state office buildings, parking garages and a pedestrian-friendly green space along Congress Avenue north of the Capitol between 15th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.  A commemorative groundbreaking for the $580 million initial phase of the state complex has tentatively been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 28, according to the Texas Facilities Commission, which is overseeing the work.  The first phase, expected to be completed by late 2021, includes two new state buildings and three blocks of the so-called “Texas Mall” promenade, as well as utilities and above- and below-ground parking. view article arw

The Canyon Independent School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to finalize an agreement to buy Kimbrough Memorial Stadium from West Texas A&M University for $500,000. Texas A&M University System Regents have already blessed the deal, which includes about 52 acres of land that Kimbrough sits on near U.S. Highway 87. The sale closes in October, Canyon ISD Superintendent Darryl Flusche said. view article arw

Navasota residents will be considering big changes to all of their schools this November. The district is calling a bond election with two proposals worth more than $61 million dollars. If approved it would mean some major upgrades for students. view article arw

Humble ISD is taking preliminary steps toward a bond referendum in May 2018 to fund new schools and renovations as the district deals with student growth. HISD’s student population is expected to increase by 1,000 students per year until 2025, according to a 2015 study by the Population and Survey Analysts demographics firm. The district will also run out of voter-approved bond funds to build new schools in 2019. view article arw