Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Changes ahead for AISD schools

Changes ahead for AISD schools. -Angela

AISD committee yanks two schools from recommended closure list


Posted: 3:15 p.m. Monday, January 23, 2017


An Austin district advisory committee of parents and community members has recommended saving two of the 10 aging schools that a consultant suggested be closed and consolidated with other campuses.
The facilities and bond planning advisory committee, charged with examining the options presented by consultants in November, is calling for Ortega and Pecan Springs elementary schools, previously recommended to be shuttered, instead be renovated and fully modernized.
The members also suggest that instead of Sims Elementary being closed and consolidated with Norman Elementary, Norman be closed and consolidated into Sims due to the traffic issues the other option would cause. Brooke, Dawson, Joslin and Ridgetop elementaries remain on the list of proposed closures, as does Lucy Read Pre-Kindergarten.
Other changes that departed from the consultants’ report include tearing down the Alternative Learning Center and building a new facility for the nationally ranked Liberal Arts and Science Academy, currently housed in Northeast Austin’s LBJ High School. The move would allow LASA to grow by up to 40 percent, to about 1,600 students. And instead of an elementary school in the Mueller development, the group will present to the public the option of putting a middle school there.
Tuesday night kicks off a series of public input meetings on the proposals. Ultimately, the school board will decide which ones to accept.
The closures and other options are among hundreds of proposed district facility changes, including the building of at least six new schools, that will go into a 25-year master plan that calls for campuses in poor condition to be shuttered, consolidated with others or replaced.
The master plan is intended to modernize the district and its aging campuses, 1 in 3 of which have been determined to be in poor condition. The district’s average facility is 40 years old, and some are older than a century.
The community input meetings will be round-table discussions, so committee members can explain the proposals in detail, with insight into how choices were made and why certain projects are being given priority.
Leticia Caballero, one of the committee’s tri-chairs, said committee members want to “hear the feedback on whether there is a different or better way, so we can talk through them and find some answers.”
“The overall goal is modernizing and getting our students into better learning spaces,” Caballero said. “It’s all about upgrading all the learning spaces.”
Among the priority projects recommended to be completed in the first six years of the plan is to tear down and rebuild T.A. Brown Elementary School, which was abruptly closed in November because of an unstable floor. Originally, an entirely new building was not in the plan, but structural engineers discovered that supports for the floor in classroom wings and the cafeteria had deteriorated so badly that a portion of the floor could collapse. Students were immediately removed from the school, and the majority now are in the former Allan Elementary campus.
In February, the committee will present its recommendations to the school board, which can choose to accept them all or make changes. The highest priority projects are likely to go into the next bond package, which could be put before voters as early as November.

1 comment:

  1. Really very interesting and very valuable information about the College consulting well done.
    College consulting

    ReplyDelete