By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
The Killeen Kangaroos can open their spring football workouts next week without fear of possibly having to forfeit any playoff berth for the next two years.
Ellison and Harker Heights high schools will get their relief and Killeen High will not become a 5A school this fall.
Everything worked itself out, it seems, on Tuesday when Killeen Independent School District board members unanimously approved a modified rezoning proposal.
"I think they did a good of listening to what the people wanted ... I thought they did a great job of taking everybody's consideration - the military, the city, Harker Heights and Killeen - and it also helped us by staying (at the 4A level for now)," said Sam Jones, Killeen High campus athletic coordinator and head football coach.
"We'll be where we need to be to compete on all levels next year, but, I think within the next realignment we'll all be 5A and I think that'll be beneficial for KISD," Jones added.
With an amended grandfather clause, Killeen ISD will be able to trim an estimated 247 students from Harker Heights and 72 from Ellison for the 2010-11 school year.
The new clause allows all current high school students to remain at the current campuses, provides limited transportation for one year to all those opting to grandfather and slowly filters students from Fort Hood's Comanche Village to Killeen High one class at a time, beginning with incoming freshmen in the fall.
"I thought the administration and the board really listened to what the people had to say and their concerns and adjusted things accordingly to accommodate some of the goals of the rezoning and also to make sure that the UIL (University Interscholastic League) implications were not going to be a concern," said KISD Athletic Director Tom Rogers.
Killeen will receive an estimated 200 freshmen from Comanche Village next year, which will increase its projected 2010-11 enrollment to 2,030, which is just short of the 5A cut-off (2,065) the UIL used in its biennial alignment in February.
The Comanche Village community will be completely vested in Killeen High beginning in 2013. Shoemaker will only lose those incoming freshmen from the Comanche Village area next year and is expected to gain about 150 from the rezoning.
"That's to keep kids in Shoemaker," Jones speculated. "The other two (schools) can afford to lose some because they're the two that are overcrowded, but you want to keep the population in Shoemaker ... and we grow slowly over here at Killeen and that's what we needed to do, too."
If the rezoning had caused Killeen High's enrollment to go grossly over the 5A cut-off, the UIL state executive committee could have ruled the football team ineligible for the playoffs until after the next alignment in 2012 and all other Killeen High sports would move to a 5A district.
But with Harker Heights' and Ellison's projected 2010-11 enrollment numbers expected to continue climbing, the school district was forced to consider the rezoning option until building a fifth high school was more plausible, most likely in 2018.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.