Plans progress on Dripping Springs ISD bond projects, new school construction in 2020

An aerial rendering of the schematic design for Dripping Springs ISD's fifth elementary school.
Corgan Architects has presented potential schematic designs for the district's fifth elementary school. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)

Corgan Architects has presented potential schematic designs for the district's fifth elementary school. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)

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Construction is ongoing for Dripping Springs High School's new career and technical education wing. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)
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The new Walnut Springs Elementary School will share a campus with Dripping Springs Middle School. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)
The Dripping Springs ISD community approved a $132 million construction bond in May 2018, for which construction on multiple projects is still underway. According to the district, 2020 will be an integral year for several of the bond’s biggest projects.

Dripping Springs High School

Renovations and additions at Dripping Springs High School are on track for completion in August, in time for the 2020-21 school year, according to DSISD Project Coordinator Mike Garcia.

At present, work is in full swing on what will be the school’s new, two-story career and technical education wing addition, which Garcia said is now “going vertical” with initial installation of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems beginning. Updates to the school’s existing agriculture barn were recently completed, including an added classroom, and the foundation has been laid for an additional agriculture barn. Finally, the walls and structure for a multipurpose flex space gymnasium have been erected, and the roofing process has begun, he said.

Walnut Springs Elementary School and Dripping Springs Middle School

Walnut Springs Elementary School, located at 300 Sportsplex Drive, will be relocated to a new facility at the same property as Dripping Springs Middle School campus in order to accommodate growth and move students away from an aging facility. The existing Walnut Springs campus, which students will continue to attend until the completion of the new facility, will be used as administrative space in the future. The board of trustees heard presentations from Corgan Architects, the firm handling the project, in late 2019, outlining schematic designs for the new elementary facility and renovations to the middle school.

“We’re getting pretty heavily into the construction documents [for the new Walnut Springs],” Garcia said.

Once documents are finalized, the project will go to bid. According to the district, this process is expected to be complete in time for construction to begin around June. Construction should last 12-14 months, concluding in time for the 2021-22 school year. Before construction can begin, an old wastewater treatment facility on the property must be decommissioned and removed, a process that Garcia said would begin in late January.

Elementary School No. 5

DSISD is also planning the construction of a fifth elementary school to accommodate projected growth in the district. According to Garcia, progress on the district's future Elementary School No. 5—which will be located on a tract of district-owned land on Darden Hill Road—is about a month behind that of the new Walnut Springs project. The district is still preparing to move into the construction documents phase, he said. However, for both the Elementary No. 5 and Walnut Springs projects, traffic consultants have already been hired to coordinate with the Texas Department of Transportation, Hays County and other entities to consider safe and functional traffic flow to and from the new facilities.

The board of trustees also heard presentations from Corgan Architects on schematics for Elementary School No. 5 late last year. Like with Walnut Springs, construction on this facility is scheduled to begin in summer 2020 with an estimated completion date prior to the start of the 2021-22 year.

DSISD will hold a public information session for community members interested in schematic designs for the district's fifth elementary school and the new Walnut Springs Elementary facility on Jan. 21 from 6-8 p.m. at the DSISD administrative building. Discussion of the Walnut Springs project will run from 6-7 p.m., and discussion of Elementary School No. 5 will run from 7-8 p.m.
By Olivia Aldridge

Multi-Platform Journalist

Olivia hosts and produces Community Impact Newspaper's podcasts, The Austin Breakdown, The Houston Breakdown and The DFW Breakdown. She launched the podcasts after nearly three years as a reporter for the newspaper, covering public health, business, development and Travis County government for the Central Austin edition. Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas.