BISD Trustees Look to the Future with Anticipated Land Acquisition

The Boerne Independent School District’s third middle school is one step closer to reality with the approval of the purchase of a 142-acre tract of land at the eastern edge of the district, the proposed site of the new school. Located southeast of the intersection of Highway 46 East and Farm Road 3351, with access off Highway 46, the contract price for the property is just under $3.7 million, roughly $26,000 per acre.

BISD’s planned third middle school is part of the $175 million bond package overwhelmingly approved by voters in May of this year. The school will join two new elementary schools also part of the package, along with district-wide expansions and improvements to existing schools and facilities.

Calling the approval of the land acquisition a “very forward-thinking move on the part of our board,” Superintendent David Stelmazewski points out that the site doesn’t just serve the district as the home of its next middle school. “It also offers us flexibility 10 years or more into the future when the district grows to the point of considering a third high school.”

BISD has to stay focused on the future, as explosive growth in the area requires that supply stay at least one step ahead of the demand. That demand comes in the form of district enrollment, which continues to climb steadily. The district closed the 2015-2016 school year with more than 7,800 students. Although the official 2016-2017 figures have not yet been recorded by the state, current enrollment was just over 8,200 after the first week of school.

BISD enrollment projections are going in only one direction: up. Within the next five years, the number is expected to reach 9,800 students, and by school year 2025-2026 the district is looking at more than 12,300 enrollment. Not surprisingly, BISD is among the 76 rapid growth school districts out of the state’s 1,100 districts.

Known as a “destination district” because of its outstanding record of high academic standards, the award-winning BISD offers everything from the basics to gifted and talented programs, career and technical training, arts programs, top organized sports teams and the latest in technology.

As an example, the new $20.8 million 90,000-square foot Fabra Elementary at Johns Road and Lattimore — a prototype for BISD schools to come — opened this August, part of a previous bond election in 2013. Voters in Boerne, Fair Oaks and surrounding neighborhoods have historically placed great value on public education, approving record levels of bond funding in the past two elections.

Meanwhile, the district must complete its due diligence process before this newest land transaction can be completed, but Stelmazewski is optimistic about what the third middle school will mean both for much-needed  relief and the district’s legacy.

“This site will help relieve some of the congestion and transportation challenges we face with our current school configuration and help us serve our students and families better,” he says. “Just as previous school boards are to be commended for purchasing the tract on Dietz-Elkhorn that is to be the site of our sixth elementary school, this school board will be remembered for its foresight someday when the doors open on new school facilities on this beautiful site.”

Construction of three new schools:

Elementary #6 (Dietz-Elkhorn adjacent to Fair Oaks Ranch), projected opening 2018-2019 school year

Elementary #7 ((Esperanza subdivision off Hwy 46 East), projected opening 2019-2020 school year

Middle School #3 (southeast of Highway 46 East and Farm Road 3351), projected opening 2019-2020 school year

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