Trustees narrow down options for replacement of San Marcos CISD administration building at Jan. 22 meeting

San Marcos CISD is pursuing options for a new central administration building after mold was found in the building on LBJ Drive.

San Marcos CISD is pursuing options for a new central administration building after mold was found in the building on LBJ Drive.

Price options for the replacement of the San Marcos CISD administration building have been reduced to four following a vote Monday at the monthly board of trustees meeting.

The existing building, located at 501 S. LBJ Drive, San Marcos, was vacated in November after two air quality tests performed in July and September came back positive for mold. The companies that performed the tests recommended remediation be performed as soon as possible.

Trustee Miguel Arredondo made the motion to narrow down the list of replacement options to pursue from six to four and cap the cost at $3.5 million.

He also asked for an update at the board's February meeting, where—as specified in his motion—trustees will select a final option and talk about how to finance it.

Trustees Lupe Costilla, Kathy Hansen and Margie Villalpando dissented.

The four options trustees voted to pursue are:

  • renovate the existing facility, which would cost an estimated $2.46 million;

  • renovate and expand the existing facility, which would cost an estimated $8.9 million;

  • demolish and construct a new facility at the site of the existing administration building, which would cost an estimated $9.4 million;

  • and renovate a portion of Mendez Elementary School, which would cost an estimated $5.3 million.

"All four of those options have varying costs associated with them. My motion is is essentially saying, 'I want staff and administration to pursue those four options, and what $3.5 million would deliver for those four options,'" Arredondo said.

The first of two options that were eliminated was to build a new facility at the district-owned Suttles site at 201 Suttles Ave., which could cost $9.3 million; the second was to partner with an outside entity for a lease-to-own option.

At the school board's December meeting, several residents called for the district to buy back the old Lamar annex—which the district sold to developers a few years ago—possibly to use as an administration building.

The owners want to build Lindsey Hill, a mixed-use development, and are working with the city of San Marcos to revise their proposal and go through the city's approval process.

Assistant Superintendent Karen Griffith said another lease-to-own option would be on Wonder World Drive between I-35 and Hunter Road. She said pricing has not been discussed for this location or the Lindsey Hill location. She did not disclose the name of the entity that wants to build on Wonder World.

Trustee Kathy Hansen said it did not make sense to build on the current site of the administration building because it was no longer considered "central" to the district or the city. Hansen also said she was worried about how much demolition would need to take place to get rid of the asbestos and mold.

"We don't know what we're going to get when we start demolishing it," she said, adding she did not want to rule out building on the Suttles site.

Arredondo disagreed, saying the 501 S. LBJ Drive facility is centrally located in the community. He said he also liked the idea of expanding at Mendez, because eight of the district's campuses are on that side of the community.

Robert Tijerina, the district's financial counsel, said the fund balance would drop from $38.6 million to $35.1 million if the district used $3.5 million from the fund balance on the building.

"This is money that we took and collected for the education of the children and the school district," trustee John McGlothlin said. "Over time, we have not spent as much as we've collected on [maintenance and operation funds] ... it's gone into this fund balance, and I think it would be a shame to spend all that we can out of that on this simple facility."

Arredondo has expressed interest in putting the administration building on a future ballot for voter approval.

In the past 25 years, trustees have tried and failed to get a new administration building either by a bond election or through district funds four times.

Arredondo told Community Impact Newspaper in January he thinks voters would support a bond election for the new administration this time around.

"I think we are in a much healthier place financially, and I think our community has changed," he said.

Hays County Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson said if trustees want to put the election on the May ballot, they have until Feb. 16 to do so.

On Friday, Arredondo said if the cost of the building was more than $3.5 million, he would rather have the voters decide whether to pay for it through a bond then have the money come out of the fund balance.


Shoppers can customize bouquets with additions like this Batman emblem. (Photos by Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
Local florist Kyle Flower Shop awarded best small business by the city

Kyle Flower Shop sell custom floral arrangements, succulents and small ficus trees.

DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

UFCU pledged up to $100,000 in scholarships to Texas State University students for the 2021-22 school year. (Joe Warner/ Community Impact Newspaper)
UFCU pledges $100,000 in scholarships to Texas State students

In a statement, UFCU CEO Tony Budet expressed the passion the company has to strengthen the local communities and students, both on and off the field.

The cheeseburger and fries combo ($11) is served with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and condiments on the side. (Photos By Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
Willie's Joint restaurant offers burgers, live music and more

Since 2013, Willie's Joint has served as a main street family style bar and restaurant in the heart of Buda.

A volunteer unloads food from a truck during the Central Texas Food Bank's April 4 event to feed families in need at Nelson Field in Austin. (Courtesy Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank delivering boxes of food directly to homes through 2021

Some families will be eligible to have boxes with food for 25 meals delivered by Amazon.

Hays County sees high job postings as workers adjust to labor market

Unemployment has come down to 4.4% in July from a high of 12.3% in April 2020, and the amount of people in the labor force has grown beyond even pre-pandemic levels.

The first vaccine clinic will be Sept. 17 at San Marcos Toyota Rattler Stadium. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Vaccine clinics to be held at San Marcos High School football games

Free COVID-19 vaccines will be available at football games this season.

Some 71.61% of Hays County residents 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, and 60.48% of that population is fully vaccinated.
(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Hays County reports no new COVID-19 fatalities Sept. 14

No new COVID-19-related deaths reported as vaccinated population slowly increases

These are just an example of some of the glass pumpkins that will be on display in the pumpkin patch. (Photo courtesy Wimberley Glassworks)
From a glass "pumpkin patch" to the Buda Rodeo, here are some of the events happening in San Marcos, Buda and Kyle

These are just some of the community events taking place in September and October in Hays County.

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization said the 10 projects will complement existing priority projects in Central Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Central Texas transportation organization advances $7 million in funding for 10 priority projects

The group also provided updates on efforts to restructure the loan it extended for the MoPac express lanes.