Hays CISD broke ground on a $38.49 million elementary school in Buda's Sunfield development June 9 at an event attended by district leaders and community stakeholders.

Bartlett-Cocke is the builder, and district documents estimate construction will be completed in time for the fall 2022 semester.

"Today’s celebration has truly been a long time coming as we had to postpone the May 2020 Bond election until May 2021 due to the pandemic," HCSID Superintendent Eric Wright said during the event.

Once complete, it will have the capacity to serve as many as 900 students and will have a footprint of 117,611 square feet.

The average classroom size for pre-K through first grade is expected to be 19, and second- through fifth-grade classrooms are expected to have an average of 28 students.

Documents comparing Sunfield Elementary School to Uhland Elementary School show a roughly 30% smaller gym at the new school. However, Sunfield will have slightly larger library and dining spaces and will have substantially more administration space.

The new elementary school will also have more rooms for life skill instruction and special education. Additionally, it will have six collaboration spaces to Uhland's two and seven teacher planning rooms, which Uhland does not have any of.

"The building that will be built on this site is our next generation prototype, which checks off all the boxes necessary to provide for an exceptional well-rounded education for our students all the while paying close attention to economy of scale and affordability," Wright said. "The finished product will be a source of pride for our students, this neighborhood and community, as well as to Hays CISD as a whole."