Hutto ISD officials broke ground on May 17 on the district's eighth elementary school, Lee Martinez Elementary School, which will also be home to the district's second Little Hippos Child Development Center.

What happened

Family members and friends of Lee Martinez, a former Hutto ISD bus driver who served the district for over two decades, joined district administrators and officials in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new campus.

The school will be adjacent to the Hutto Ninth Grade Center, near 301 Destiny Lane.

How we got here

Trustees voted to name the school after Martinez in February, choosing from among 10 names nominated by community members to honor those who have served the district.

"For over 20 years, Mr. Lee Martinez invested in the lives of the young people in Hutto doing one of the most important jobs of the district," board President Billie Loguidice said at the groundbreaking. "He began building a legacy that encapsulates the vision of Hutto ISD today and continues to be evident by the five generations of hippos that he leaves behind that have joined us today."

A maximum price of $55.2 million was also approved by trustees in March. Later this year, the district will begin the process of redistricting to balance attendance between the soon-to-be eight elementary schools, similar to the way it did this year in anticipation of the opening of Gus Almquist Middle School this fall.

The cost to build the elementary school will be supported by 2023 bond funds.

What they're saying

Gloria Martinez said naming the school for her husband, who died in April 2021, was a large blessing to her and her family.

"I am so excited about this school, and it's something very important to me in my life," Martinez said. "From not having anything to now having a school under his name, that means something to me."

What's next?

According to the district, a groundbreaking for the new facility is planned for this spring, and the campus is slated to open in time for the 2025-26 school year. It will be located adjacent to the Hutto 9th Grade Center, near Destiny Lane and FM 1660 North.