San Marcos School bus

Population Overload

By: Amber Craddieth
KTSW News

San Marcos School bus
Photo by: http://www.statesman.com

Hays CISD is building it’s sixth middle school to help relieve overpopulation in middle schools within the district. The new school will accommodate 900 students comfortably, and hold up to 1000 students as it grows.

In 2014 resident voters within the district voted to pass a bond to implement the construction of the new school. As part of the district’s  fifty-nine million dollar bond, they recently received a guaranteed maximum price of twenty-eight point ninety-seven million dollars proposed by the Hays CISD Board of Trustees to build the new facility.

Right now there are a total of five middle schools in the Hays school district and three of them suffer from overpopulation. The schools include Dahlstrom Middle School, Wallace Middle School and Barton Middle School. The district is looking at a new policy to define the process of rezoning. The new policy will decide which students will be moved to the new school, but the Board of Trustees must approve of the policy first.

If approved, Public Information Officer, Tim Savoy, says the new attendance zones will be effective this coming Fall, and help take the pressure off of the overpopulated schools.

Savoy says that students at overcrowded schools who are permitted to move to the new school would be a win-win because it allows them to go to a school closer to their homes.

“When you zone the school you try to make it as close to home as possible. Most of our existing middle schools will probably just have some minor adjustments to balance those populations out, but the one that is most overcrowded actually has a large amount of students who have to ride the school bus a pretty long distance because they are moving into this new area. So this new middle school will accommodate those students that are right there, so they will have to change schools. But the benefit is they won’t have to be on the bus for an hour each way so it’s really a win-win for the students,” Savoy said.

Along with students, some of the current teachers at overpopulated schools will be moved to the new school as well.

With the new middle school, the district is looking at building a new high school and two new elementary schools, but resident voters would have to approve. At the moment Savoy says the district should be good for several years before they think about proposing another middle school building. At the rate of 800 students per year they won’t think about building a new middle school until the years 2019 or 2020.

Although Hays CISD may be facing many trials with its overpopulated school facilities, Savoy says, having growth within the district is the best problem you can have.

“Having the growth that we have always comes with growing pains. The cost of building the new school, having to redo the attendance zones, but those are all good problems to have when you compare it with other alternatives. Because, there are school district in Texas that are not growing, in fact, their losing students and then they have to make the decision about closing schools and all that, we are certainly not in that predicament and so with all of the challenges that come with all of the growth we’re having, it’s still a good problem to have,” Savoy said.

The school will be completed before the 2016-2017 school year, and it will be located near the sunfield development in Buda in the north eastern part of the district. Construction has began this month and they have starting leveling the land.

The construction of the new school will be shown each month on Hays CISD Board of Trustees website, providing aerial view of its progress.

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