Liberty Hill ISD is looking to expand its capacity to transport students as the district’s enrollment grows.

At a May 20 meeting, the board of trustees approved the schematic design for a new transportation facility, which is projected to open in 2026, Director of Construction Dustin Akin said.

What’s happening

The new 33,194-square-foot transportation facility is slated to open off US 183 next to the Legacy Ranch Middle School campus, which will serve as the district’s second high school until 2026. Voters approved the $16 million project in the district’s 2023 bond election.

The facility will be built in two phases with Phase 1 including a transportation building; fuel tanks; a wash bay; a fuel station; and parking for visitors, staff and buses, Chief Operations Officer Mark Willoughby said. The property will also feature water quality and detention ponds.

The transportation building will feature two stories with meeting rooms, offices, a dispatch area and a garage for district vehicles on the first floor. The second floor will hold a large meeting space, kitchenette, training rooms, restrooms and storage area for bus equipment. The building will also house a data recovery room with a generator to keep the district’s technology online during a power outage, Willoughby said.

Phase 2 will expand the staff parking lot and bus fleet parking while adding a warehouse to receive deliveries, such as instructional materials and furniture, he said. The district does not yet have a timeline for when the second phase will begin, Akin said.

Why it matters

The district has 70 buses for around 9,000 students while the new transportation facility is expected to serve the district until it reaches an enrollment of 18,000, district officials said.

The project’s initial phase will accommodate 80 buses with room for up to 200 buses once Phase 2 is complete, Akin said.

LHISD may continue operating its transportation facility near Liberty Hill Middle School if needed, he said.

What’s next?

Following the board’s approval, PBK Architects will further develop the facility’s design, Willoughby said. Construction is expected to take place from January-November in 2025, according to district information.

While the facility is expected to open in 2026, the timeline could change depending on when the district’s bonds are sold, Akin said.