Second Montgomery ISD high school to break ground in May

Montgomery ISD Projects Montgomery ISD is building a second high school, an elementary school and a middle school using funds from the $256.75 million bond referendum that was approved by voters in May.[/caption]

Montgomery ISD will break ground on its second high school in May with plans to open the facility to students in August 2018. The school is one of several facilities that will be built using funds from the district’s $256.75 million bond referendum that was approved by voters in May.

The $118 million high school is intended to alleviate strain from student population growth at Montgomery High School, which is nearing its 2,600-student capacity with 2,518 students enrolled in the 2015-16 school year.

“We expect to go over maximum capacity in August of next year,” Superintendent Beau Rees said.

Last year the district broke ground on elementary and middle schools along Keenan Cut Off Road to alleviate student population growth strain at Lone Star Elementary and Montgomery Junior High schools. The two schools will open in August 2017.

“That is where our immediate overcrowding needs are,” Rees said. “Lone Star Elementary School is growing over capacity, and our junior high school is already over capacity—it is over 1,350 kids, and the building is built for 1,200 kids.”

Additionally, the district will begin nine renovation projects at existing schools this summer. Projects that are not completed this year will be continued in summer 2017 to avoid interrupting classes throughout the school year, Rees said.

Improvement projects include an $18.6 million renovation of Montgomery High School to make the facility, which will be 20 years old in 2018, equitable with the incoming high school. The renovation will add a black-box theater and renovate the band hall and choir rooms, Rees said. It also includes upgrades to athletic facilities and parking.

Similarly, Montgomery Junior High School will receive $4.38 million in classroom, and athletic facility renovations to make it equitable to the incoming middle school. Rees said the upgrades will make it possible for student athletes to remain on campus for games and practices rather than having to travel to Montgomery High School.

Montgomery Intermediate School and Montgomery Middle School—the district’s fifth- and sixth-grade only campuses, respectively—are receiving renovations that will convert both facilities into K-5 elementary schools by the 2017-18 school year. The change corresponds with the district’s effort to move to a new grade-level system with prekindergarten through fifth-grade elementary schools, sixth- through eighth-grade middle schools and ninth- through 12th grade high schools, Rees said.

“The grade levels will be more standard, but for us it is about efficiency,” Rees said. “We are able to use facilities that already are in good condition and reconfigure those two schools to really help us offset the cost of having to build two new elementary schools.”