Construction on six new schools inside Katy ISD is in the works, and on Nov. 17 at a meeting of the board of trustees, the public and school officials got their first look at plans for four campuses, including the district's eighth high school.
Less than two weeks after residents passed a record $748 million bond proposal for KISD, school officials are looking at projects and beginning to call for bids on others.
In his presentation to trustees, Peter McElwain, the school district's architect and planner, said he's looking to "hit the ground running" with construction plans in hand. McElwain said the district is taking on projects in specific order to "strategically position" them to minimize construction time and cost.
The school district already got a head start in many projects by using extra funds from the 2010 bond to pay for design and planning costs, McElwain said.
"The 2010 bond provided funds for us to initiate the design early so we could position ourselves to be able to get the construction complete for a number of these projects for 2016, thereby completing the project ahead of schedule from what it would be if we hadn't started the design," he said.
The new high school
Members of PBK Architects at the meeting presented their plans for the district's eighth high school and 15th junior high—a pair of buildings that will be constructed nearby one another across an outdoor common area at the intersection of Stockdick School Road and Peek Road.
The bond approved weeks ago allocated $151,982,680 for the construction cost of the high school, and with a surplus of $5,287,660 from the 2010 bond slated for the project, the total budget is $157,270,340.
The total construction budget for the junior high is $44,916,485, with $43,375,345 coming from the 2014 bond and $1,541,140 from the 2010 bond.
The high school and junior high are scheduled to open in time for the start of the school year in August 2017.
Two new elementary schools
VLK Architects revealed identical plans for elementary schools Nos. 38 and 39 at the meeting.
Elementary school No. 38—also known as Cinco Northwest—will be built at the intersection of Horizon Bluff Lane and Westridge Creek Lane.
The total construction budget is $29,020,570, with $28,052,250 coming from the 2014 bond and $968,320 coming from the 2010 bond.
Elementary school No. 39—also known as Ventana—will be built on East Ventana Parkway southwest of the site of the new high school and junior high.
The total construction budget is $28,354,330, with $27,797,850 coming from the 2014 bond and $556,480 coming from the 2010 bond.
Both elementary schools are scheduled to open in time for the start of the school year in August 2016.
Bids for another junior high
Trustees also approved calling for bids of construction for the district's 14th junior high school. The campus will be located in the Hawks Landing community and will pull enrollment from WoodCreek and Seven Lakes junior highs, two schools with swelling student populations, McElwain said.
"A year makes a big difference," McElwain said. "We wanted to get the design done and get the project out to bid and back in so that we can start construction as quickly as possible because in the construction market, as busy as it is right now, that could impact the construction interval as well. The availability of labor, materials—that alone could extend out the construction period."
The junior high is scheduled to open in time for the 2016 school year.