At a Jan. 21 workshop, the board discussed moving the opening date for the elementary school, which will be located on FM 423 and Rockhill Parkway, to fall 2022 instead of fall 2021. Todd Fouche, deputy superintendent of business and operations, cited a complete redesign of the school as the reason for a new date.
“We looked at what we wanted with a future-ready elementary school within the confines of an existing footprint,” Fouche said at the workshop. “After our [board meeting] Tuesday night, some of us started talking and thought, ‘What would it look like if we wanted to push that elementary school out a year? What would be the ramifications of going through a big visioning process and rethinking it all together?’”
The district's newest elementary is on the district's northwest end, which has been seeing a lot of student growth. Two other elementary schools in that area-- Newman and Miller--are projected to exceed functional capacity by fall 2021, Fouche said.
Elementary School No. 43 was intended to relieve this issue.
Most of FISD’s elementary schools are built to accommodate 760 students, according to the district's website. If a school’s enrollment reaches 100 students or more above that capacity, officials can close the school to new students.
Enrollment projections for fall 2021 put Newman and Miller elementary schools with more than 900 students, Fouche said. Newman is at 734 students and Miller is at 748 students as of Jan. 7 enrollment numbers.
If the opening date is pushed back a year, Fouche said Phillips Elementary School could serve as overflow once Newman and Miller elementary schools close enrollment to new students at about 820 students.
“It’s not comfortable, but if it was for a year or two, you could have about 820 [students],” he said.
Once Phillips reaches 820 students, any new students would be enrolled at Boals Elementary School. Fouche said overflowing to a third school would be unlikely.
“In general, I think this is more appetizing than rezoning,” Fouche said.