The school’s construction will be funded using $30 million from the district’s $107.3 million bond, which was approved by voters in May. The Trace site includes 12 acres.
“Both sites have lots of advantages," Trustee Anne Halsey said. "I do believe the Trace site is the one that will have the most number of school-age children the most quickly."
- Renovation to all elementary school campuses and Goodnight Middle School: $32.6 million
- Miller Middle School addition and renovations: $19.6 million
- Classroom addition to San Marcos High School: $17.3 million
- Addition of a new transportation center and 10 new buses (to serve new elementary school campus): $3.8 million
- Energy management systems: $1.5 million
- Additional technology and security infrastructure: $2 million
—Other SMCISD bond projects
Halsey and other trustees voiced a belief that the district will likely need another elementary school in the near future to deal with enrollment growth.
The district had also been considering a 15-acre site within the La Cima development near the intersection of Old RR 12 and Wonder World Drive. The developers of La Cima and Trace donated land to the district as part of their development agreements with the city of San Marcos.
During public comment, Dianne Wassenich, president of the San Marcos River Foundation, said the district should avoid building a school on the La Cima site, which is located over the Edwards Aquifer.
“Schools bring roads and more and more development," Wassenich said. "I hope you’ll consider a site closer to the east side developments that are starting to be built.”
Trustee Kathy Hansen cast the lone vote opposing the Trace site. Hansen said she was concerned about traffic near the proposed site. The Posey Road bridge, which is set to be replaced using $26.6 million of state transportation funds, is of particular concern, she said.
District staff said it is too early to tell whether there would be significant cost savings of building on one site versus the other. Staff said they are confident the campus can be built within the $30-million budget.
According to a district timeline, construction of the new campus will begin in summer 2018.