Austin ISD’s new southwest elementary school takes shape

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Site clearing in preparation for construction of a new Austin ISD southwest elementary school began this month at Escarpment Boulevard and Trissino Drive.

Plans for the $36.2 million facility include capacity for 522 students. Expansion plans could make room for up to 696 students in the future. AISD presenters detailed the project at a Jan. 22 community meeting.

“This, for me, is a celebration,” said Yasmin Wagner, Austin ISD board member who represents Southwest Austin. “We are celebrating what will be the largest elementary school investment from the [2017] bond. It’s a great investment in our growing population in Southwest Austin.”

Relieving overcrowding

Austin ISD’s new southwest elementary school is one of the first facilities in the 2017 bond package to be built. Voters approved the bond—the largest in district history at $1.05 billion—to renovate and construct new schools. Although the 32 projects included in the bond vary, all are centered on delivering modernized learning spaces to Austin ISD’s nearly 83,000 students.

Located within a few miles of four AISD elementary schools—Clayton, Baldwin, Kiker and Baranoff—the new campus will provide relief for the increasingly crowded Kiker and Baranoff campuses. Both schools were built in the 1990s, and enrollment numbers are at or nearing 1,000 students.

Modern learning spaces

The new southwest elementary school is being designed in alignment with Austin ISD’s vision for 21st century learning spaces, according to the Jan. 22 public meeting at the Circle C Community Center.

Designs call for flexible classroom spaces to accommodate personalized learning, Baranoff Elementary Principal Megan Counihan said during the meeting. This will facilitate collaboration between teachers and groups of students, she said.

What’s next?

Crews will start vertical construction on the school in July. Nearby residents can expect trucks entering and exiting the construction site on Escarpment Boulevard.

Austin ISD is in the process of establishing an attendance boundary for the new school, a district spokesperson said. A boundary advisory committee formed in late January. The process will take about a year, with an anticipated January 2020 timeline for notifying families who will be affected.

The school is on track to open in August 2020, according to the district’s presentation.

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Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Jackson Buchanan is the editor for the Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She has a bachelor's and master's degree from The University of Texas.
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