East Ward Elementary School will officially have a new home next school year, following a unanimous vote of the school board.

The Killeen ISD school board met Tuesday for its regular monthly meeting, where it unanimously approved the board’s proposal to utilize Elementary No. 35 during the construction of the new East Ward campus.

Current East Ward students will attend the new elementary, located near the intersection of Rosewood and Morganite, for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.

“We are trying to go about this, and all the bond projects, in a way that creates the least disruption possible while providing a safe environment and optimal learning,” Superintendent John Craft said of the move.

Under the bond proposal, East Ward and West Ward are set to consolidate into a new three-story facility that will be constructed on the site of the current East Ward campus.

Plans for the new East Ward campus were updated based on feedback from the board, school employees and the public. These were presented at Tuesday’s meeting, at which the board was informed the project is set to be completed on schedule.

The consolidation is part of a renovation funded by the $426 million bond approved by district voters in May. It was one of two construction bonds in the approved package.

Proposition A designates a total of $235 million for districtwide improvements and new schools. Proposition B budgets $191 million for school replacements and renovations.

Projects include the construction of a new high school in south Killeen and a $75 million renovation of Killeen High School, which was built in 1964.

Multiple other campuses will be renovated or built to prepare for and accommodate the over 4,600 new students KISD projects to enroll over the next 10 years.

Elementary school No. 35 is not part of the bond project.

Clifton Park and Bellaire elementary schools are set to consolidate — a change in the original bond project.

This change was proposed during last month’s workshop meeting. In the initial bond proposal, Pershing Park, Sugar Loaf and part of Bellaire’s populations were set to consolidate. Clifton Park was slated to undergo renovations and take in the remainder of the Bellaire population.

However, the district decided to forgo that plan due to the complicated nature of the renovations that would have been necessary and the disruption the process would have created for students.

The board has now decided that the current site of Nolan Middle School will be used for the construction of a new campus. This plan was also unanimously approved by the board Tuesday.

The current school is scheduled to close after the 2020 school year and the students will be rezoned to other middle schools.

“For not much more money, we are going from an older building with some nice renovations to a brand-new facility,” board president Corbett Lawler said Tuesday.

The board also reviewed updated plans for several other bond related projects during Tuesday’s meeting.

(2) comments

MAJAG89

While the three-story elementary is nice, it's proof positive that the East Ward site on Rancier is too small to support the planned building. Totally makes no sense while the district refuses to use the large Fairway lot to build the school. I'm sure "for not much more money" would be needed to build/renovate the Fairway site to accommodate East and West Ward. It also solves the district's problem with what to do with the Fairway site. I'm sure finding a buyer(s) for the East Ward school on Rancier will be much easier than it has been for the Fairway Site (which has been zero viable offers).

MAJAG89

What a novel idea about renovating an existing "older middle school building" to become the new home of two older elementary schools. So we can consolidate Bellaire and Clifton into a renovated Nolan Middle School, but we can't put East Ward and West Ward into a renovated Fairway site?

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