A year ago this month, citizens in the Boerne Independent School District voted overwhelmingly in support of a $99.5 million bond package to benefit our students. It was a pivotal point in the life of our district.
In the 12 months since that important election, much has been accomplished. Recall that the bond focused on four major areas of need: accommodating enrollment growth, addressing aging facilities, improving classroom technology, and strengthening campus security.
Faculty, staff and partnering contractors have made tremendous strides in each of those areas in the course of the past year.
Shortly after the bond passed last May, construction crews were at work reconfiguring our school entrances, providing added security measures to help assure the safety of our students and staff. In fact, our approach to enhanced security entrances became something of a model for other school districts in the San Antonio area.
At the same time, work began in earnest on technology upgrades that would place new computers in classrooms and build out infrastructure on campuses to strengthen wireless Internet connections. Our technology team initiated distribution of mobile devices that enhance student access to educational tools and research information on the Internet. Our goal is to have one device for every three students at the secondary level, one device for every five students at the elementary level.
While this activity was taking place, our facilities team was busy developing requests for proposals from architects and contractors. We believe we engaged the best of the best, bringing onto the team Pfluger/OCO and SHW Group architects and general contractor Bartlett Cocke. It was not long before schematic designs were being developed and reviewed, bids were being received and approved, and construction work was underway.
To date, the most visible construction work is taking place on the Middle School North campus, where new classrooms and a CTE shop are moving toward completion and an expansion of auxiliary gymnasium facilities is progressing rapidly. As soon as classes conclude in June, additional work will begin on the North campus, replacing the old competition gym with a new facility and preparing the school to welcome sixth grade in 2015.
Indeed, this summer will be a busy time on several campuses as bond-related projects move into full gear. Boerne High School, Boerne Middle School South and Curington Elementary School are all scheduled for major construction upgrades to add capacity, build out programs, and provide important enhancements to aging facilities. Work will conclude on additions to our transportation/warehouse facility and we will air condition our elementary school gyms, as well.
The recent announcement of the district’s purchase of a 19-acre site for the new Fabra Elementary campus is truly the crowning touch on what has been a busy and successful year. I am so excited at the thought of a new school opening at the corner of Johns Road and Lattimore in 2016! Like the campus before it, this new campus will serve generations of families in our community.
Someday years from now, when folks are attending class performances and PTO meetings and myriad other events long after the “new” has worn off the new Fabra facility, the thoughtful among them will reflect on the foresight of others long past who funded, planned and built their school. I often do the same thing when I stop and consider the current Fabra campus.
For those folks and all others who will benefit from the enhancements taking place across the district today, we can point back to a Saturday in May 2013, the day voters resoundingly reaffirmed the importance of education to our community.
Recent news of continued, accelerated growth in our district means that we will be back in front of voters in the future with a request to support additional facilities. I am very aware that how we execute the projects tied to the current bond will impact how voters respond to the inevitable next request.
I hope you will agree that we are on the right track, pursuing the projects we said we were going to pursue and doing so on time and on budget to this point. We want you to be informed; notes from our oversight committee meetings and other bond-related information is posted at www.boerne-isd.net/2013bond. Thank you for your support.
1 Air conditioning for all elementary school gyms will be operational by August 18 (Cibolo Creek, Curington, Fabra, Fair Oaks Ranch, Kendall).
2 Excavation work at Middle School South is moving toward completion and the ground work on the student courtyard is expected to be complete by August 25.
3 Projects at Middle School North are in very good shape. Furnishing and fixtures will be moved into the new Career & Technical Education space (shop) by August 11. Demolition on the old gym is complete. Preparations being made for foundation of new gym. Classroom, band hall and library renovations are nearing completion.
4 At Curington Elementary, new asphalt for entry drive is being poured. The school will be ready for students to return on August 25. Work on the interior is basically complete; clean-up phase currently underway. There is more substantial construction to come; the expansion of the cafeteria and the administrative wing/entrance.
5 At Boerne High School, work is underway on the band hall and culinary arts expansions, as well as the CTE shop. Utilities are being placed for the football field locker room facility and the baseball/softball concession building.
6 Earlier this month, the district closed on the 19.6-acre property which will be the site of the new Fabra Elementary campus. Bond project manager Jim Martin anticipates being able to present to the board on August 18 a bid for site cleaning, which would include such things as removing existing buildings on the site, removing dead trees, and closing any wells and septic tanks. Jim anticipates presenting schematic design to the board in October.