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Facilities study causes rumors of school relocation: LISD discusses facility study, inadequate buildings
Rumors are circulating throughout The Colony that Camey Elementary and Griffin Middle School will be moving near S.H. 121. Lewisville ISD School Board President Carol Kyer said the board received information about the possible move at Monday's meeting.
The LISD staff's recommendation is to replace those two campuses, but at the same location. Kyer said the campuses are two of the district's top priorities, but the construction of their replacements won't happen for about two to three years because the district has to sell the bonds for two ninth-grade centers first. Bonds for this project, would be sold after that Kyer said, and the timeframe and other information will be discussed further next month.
Rumors about the campuses being moved began circulating after the district asked for a facility study to evaluate whether the cost of repairing the schools would be more conducive than rebuilding.
"One of the things we mandated Dr. [Stephen] Waddell to do is a facility study on all of our facilities because we do have a lot of office space or campus space," Kyer said. "Some of the buildings are 50 years old, while some are brand new. We needed to have a study done on all of our facilities to see what shape they are in and provide an estimate on some of the repairs - whether it was new roofs, new flooring or new bathrooms."
Waddell enlisted the help of PBK, a company specializing in facility condition assessments, who gave a rating to each school or facility based on the need to be repaired or replaced. Some conditions looked at included special needs criteria such as ramps, and the condition of existing wiring.
"We had a workshop in September on the results of the study so they literally walked every facility, and considering we have 63 schools, it was quite an event," Kyer said. "They looked at every room, light fixture, bathroom and gave us a big report on specifics."
The schools ending up on the repair list had only minimal wear and tear damage, Kyer said. While replacing older schools may not occur in the near future, the district does want each student to have an equal access to technological advances, which could be a problem in older buildings.
Camey Elementary and Griffin Middle School were two of the schools teetering between repair and replace.
"I think what happened is that people saw that in the report and automatically thought we were going to replace them," Kyer said.
The Colony is going through a rebirth, and while the district still has $160 million left in its 2008 bond package, Kyer said selling all of those bonds at this point would not be a sound decision.
"We can't do it all at once because the bond is $160 million and the bonds would have to be sold at a pace to make sure the tax rate doesn't go past what we promised the voters," she said. "After we had the workshop, we gave the district the chore to give us an idea on how that should be spent."
The last time the district conducted a facility study - nearly 10 years ago - technology in the classroom was almost nonexistent. But, as the district makes a bigger push into the technological world, the need to replace wiring - an expensive endeavor - could be the make-or-break rule for an aging school building.
"You have some kids going into brand new buildings because they are in areas that are growing faster, which has always been the issue," Kyer said. "We want to make sure everyone is in a safe and productive environment. With all the technology that we are putting in now, and some buildings needing the wiring replaced, it doesn't make sense to invest all that money in wiring, which in itself adds to the replace or fix factor. We have to put that into consideration."