Back to School Update on Bond 2013 Projects

Sixty Percent of All Bond Projects Complete or Under Contract
Renovation of AvondaleAugust 27, 2014 – Amarillo ISD is starting the new school year with much needed additional classrooms, more secure entrances and new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment at many campuses. Working on many of these projects during the summer months, construction and maintenance crews have completed or are under contract for more than 60 percent of the School Bond 2013 projects.

The $99.45 million school bond issue, passed by Amarillo citizens in May 2013, is funding a major program of facility and security improvements, renovations, additions and new construction to meet the needs of a student population which has grown by more than 3,000 students in six years.

A big ticket bond item was the renovation at 13 elementary schools to make them more secure. At a cost of $7.5 million, these campuses have undergone office and main entrance reconfigurations to direct visitors through a reception area before accessing the rest of the school. The elementary schools include Avondale, Belmar, Bivins, Oak Dale, Puckett, Ridgecrest, Sanborn, San Jacinto, Sleepy Hollow, South Georgia, Western Plateau, Windsor and Woodlands.

With the completion of the new entrances at these 13 schools, all AISD elementary schools are now equipped with added security in terms of physical space and also buzz-in systems at the main entrances.

In addition to secured entrances, more than half of another large bond project is complete. Across the district, 57 new classrooms will be added at seven schools, plus a much-needed new cafeteria and kitchen at Eastridge Elementary for a total cost of $15 million.

Currently the schools with completed additions are Mesa Verde (6 classrooms), Rogers (8 classrooms) and Hamlet (7 classrooms) elementary schools. At Eastridge, the old cafeteria was converted to classrooms and a new cafeteria and kitchen has been built. Set for completion by January 2015 are Coronado Elementary School (6 classrooms), Crockett (6 classrooms) and Houston (8 classrooms) middle schools and Tascosa High School (10 classrooms).

Nine schools including Caprock High School, Bowie and Travis middle schools, and Eastridge, Lawndale, Mesa Verde, Oak Dale, Sunrise and Whittier elementary schools will begin the year with new heating and cooling systems as part of the first phase of HVAC replacement.

Construction began this summer on two new schools, Bowie 6th Grade Campus and Travis 6th Grade Campus. Slated for completion by the 2015-2016 school year, together the two schools will cost approximately $28.6 million to build and furnish. The sixth-grade campuses will help relieve overcrowding and create a better environment for student learning.

“In recent years we’ve seen significant growth in many parts of Amarillo,” Superintendent Rod Schroder said. “This growth and also shifting demographics have tested the capacity of many of our schools. But thanks to a generous and supportive community, we are able to add classroom space, expand facilities and renovate for security and efficiency. Every school in the district will benefit in some way from this investment in our future.”

Although many bond projects are nearing completion, there are several projects yet to be started, including synthetic grass for middle school playing fields, video security upgrades district-wide, phase two of the HVAC replacement project and a new elementary school in the Caprock cluster.

All projects, with the exception of the new elementary school, are set for completion by the 2016-2017 school year. The new elementary school will not be built until a student population justifies it by reaching 250-300 students.

Here is a sampling of some of the projects which are complete or currently under construction. For a viewing of all campus renovations, please visit the School Bond 2013 photo album here:

TascosaTravis 6th Grade
Avondale Elementary, Oak Dale Elementary, Tascosa High School and Travis 6th Grade Campus

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