Students in the Killeen Independent School District displaced by a fire at Gateway Middle School last fall will be able to return to their campus next school year.

The district’s board of trustees voted at its regular meeting Tuesday night to approve a site plan for the construction, relocation and repairs to the damaged portion of the facility, allowing the district to reopen the middle school at Gateway for the 2013-14 school year.

That plan includes moving six portable buildings the district already owns to Gateway’s Zephyr Road campus, and installing utilities, fire alarm systems, walkways, fencing and an intercom system.

“The portion of the school that was damaged was mainly auxiliary services,” said John Craft, the district’s deputy superintendent. “(The buildings) will mostly be used to serve those needs.”

According to documents provided by the district, the estimated cost to complete the work is about $237,225 to move and prepare the existing portable buildings for occupancy.

The Gateway complex on Zephyr Road, which housed a middle school and high school campus, was heavily damaged by an intense fire in September 2012, damaging three classrooms and much of the middle school’s administrative offices.

The fire caused more than $880,000 in damage to the Gateway facility, not including materials such as books, desks and computers that were lost in the blaze. The fire was ruled an arson, but authorities have not made any arrests related to the incident.

After the fire, KISD relocated about 100 middle-school students to an alternative campus on Atkinson Avenue. Those students will remain at the Atkinson campus for the remainder of the school year, Craft said.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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