RRISD to build HS No. 6 on Pearson Ranch near new middle school

Round Rock ISD awarded O’Connell Robertson $11 million to design High School No. 6. The firm had previously designed Success High School on Gattis School Road. Round Rock ISD awarded O’Connell Robertson $11 million to design High School No. 6. The firm had previously designed Success High School on Gattis School Road.[/caption]

District officials have selected a site off Pearson Ranch Road in Austin for Round Rock ISD’s sixth high school and are now looking at possible funding sources, including a bond election.

District officials previously said the new high school would either be located along Pearson Ranch—next to the site of a new middle school and Elsa England Elementary School—or at another location near the intersection of Old Settlers and A.W. Grimes boulevards in Round Rock.

Corey Ryan, RRISD executive director of communications and community relations, confirmed the Pearson Ranch location was selected after a trustee mentioned the location Aug. 18.

RRISD purchased the 182 acres the high school will sit on more than seven years ago for $15.7 million. The land already includes a transportation facility and Elsa England as well as the future site of Pearson Ranch Middle School, which is scheduled to open fall 2017.

Zoning for the new high school will be determined after the district moves forward on construction of the facility.

During the Aug. 18 board meeting, trustees also unanimously selected Bartlett-Cooke General Contractors LLC as the construction manager for the High School No. 6 project. As part of the approval process, $75,000 was dedicated toward pre-construction efforts, with the money originating from 2008 bond surplus funds, according to board documents.

RRISD in April approved an $11 million contract with architecture firm O’Connell Robertson to design and plan the new comprehensive high school, though the site had not been selected at that time. The $11 million also came from surplus revenue leftover from the 2008 bond.

The project could be part of a May 2017 bond referendum, according to the district, which would require voter approval.

The high school is just one of several bond projects that could go before voters in May. To start the process of compiling a bond package to put before voters, the board of trustees planned to meet Sept. 1 for a workshop to discuss the district’s guiding principles and vision.

In September and October, the district will create a citizens bond committee to start discussing ideas of what to include in the bond election. RRISD has until Feb. 17 to call a bond election for the May 6 ballot.

The board will need to determine which projects will go on the bond, Ryan said.

By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and later senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 10 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels.


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