Eanes ISD board considers adding new learning studio portables at Cedar Creek Elementary to combat enrollment spike

The Eanes ISD board of trustees discusses enrollment and facility needs at a meeting Dec. 19.

The Eanes ISD board of trustees discusses enrollment and facility needs at a meeting Dec. 19.

The Eanes ISD board of trustees met Dec. 19, three days before the district’s winter break, to receive an update from the district’s the facilities and enrollment committee, which was created to evaluate the current state of enrollment and facilities as it related to the district’s budget, EISD Chief Operations Officer Jeremy Trimble said.

Portables needed at Cedar Creek Elementary School to address increased enrollment
Although enrollment at the majority of EISD schools is projected to remain stable, Cedar Creek Elementary School’s enrollment is projected to jump next year due to the opening of The Walsh town home development.

As a result the facilities and enrollment committee recommended the district add six new classrooms to the campus, according to Trimble. This could be accomplished by removing the two portables currently found on the campus and purchasing four new “learning studio” portables, he said.

Learning studios are new, custom-built portables that include space for two classrooms, a shared bathroom and feature more windows than typical portables for natural light, Trimble said. Learning studios have a lifespan of 35-40 years and on average cost $185,000.

The board could decide to use the learning studios as normal classrooms for the school or to house the Child Development Center program at the campus.

The board of trustees did not take action at the meeting but could by its February meeting.

Developing a portable replacement plan for the district
Trimble said the district should also consider creating a five- or 10-year replacement plan to convert the other portables in the district to learning studios.

“We have a number of portables throughout the district, and they are all aged,” he said. “That means that they cost us a lot of money each and every year to maintain.”

The current aging fleet includes six portables at Eanes Elementary, three at Valley View Elementary, two at Forest Trail Elementary, one at Westlake High and the two at Cedar Creek Elementary, Trimble said.

Adjusting attendance boundaries to address growth
Trimble also said the district can look at changing school zoning before the 2020-21 school year to address projected growth at certain campuses. Hill Country Middle School and Cedar Creek Elementary School could benefit from rezoning the most, he said.

The last time the zoning boundaries were changed in EISD was before 2008-09 school year, he said.