Tomball ISD approves $12.6 million in spending for Tomball Star Academy, new career and technical education pathways

The Tomball ISD board of trustees approved $12.6 million in spending for Tomball Star Academy and new career and technical education programs in January. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Tomball ISD board of trustees approved $12.6 million in spending for Tomball Star Academy and new career and technical education programs in January. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Tomball ISD board of trustees approved $12.6 million in spending for Tomball Star Academy and new career and technical education programs in January. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Tomball ISD board of trustees on Jan. 11 authorized Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora to spend up to $12.6 million to relocate Tomball Star Academy to the Tomball ISD Innovation Center on FM 2920 and launch new career and technical education pathways for the 2022-23 academic year. Salazar-Zamora said during a board workshop meeting Jan. 10 that this is a unique request, as typically the board approves individual projects.

Authorizing the superintendent to spend the funds will ensure the relocation of Tomball Star Academy and the new CTE pathways, which include cybersecurity, law enforcement and legal studies, will be completed by August, Salazar-Zamora said.

“Although this is not something we would normally do, if we want to have Star [Academy] students in place in August, and if we want to have those CTE programs, this would be the only way we’d be able to meet those timelines,” Salazar-Zamora said at the Jan. 10 meeting.

Chief Financial Officer Jim Ross said the district is drawing plans with architects and has a storage site for construction materials. He said if the district had waited for projects to be approved at board meetings, construction would not be finished by August due to supply chain issues.

“If we wait two more weeks, we lose too much time,” Ross said Jan. 10.


While the board of trustees authorized Salazar-Zamora to use the funds—which come from the 2021 bond package voters in the district approved in November—multiple trustees said they would like to see the superintendent report regularly to the board about the use of the funds.

​​“I want to ensure that you are bringing us along at the appropriate time, so that way we can at least come along with you so if we have an issue, we can raise it,” board Secretary John McStravick said during the workshop meeting.
By Chandler France

Reporter, Tomball/Magnolia

Chandler joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2021 after graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Southern California, where he was the executive editor of Annenberg Media. He previously interned with the company in Gilbert, AZ and with the Beacon Project, an investigative reporting team in Los Angeles. Chandler is originally from Laguna Hills, CA.