Keeping in mind rising construction costs nationwide, the Killeen Independent School District board of trustees weighed the need for future new school construction — including a possible new Nolanville elementary school — during its morning workshop Tuesday.
“We’re in the process of really looking forward again,” Killeen ISD Superintendent John Craft said Tuesday. “Seeing what’s happening around us, the convergence of Austin and surrounding Austin areas, and of course what’s happening with housing right here in our region, we anticipate that we’re going to continue to see future student growth for years out.”
With northern expansion blocked by the presence of Fort Hood, Craft said the majority of the growth in Killeen ISD will continue to occur in the southern, eastern and western portions of the school district.
“We wanted to put it before you to start looking at what the next nine to 10 years of growth is likely to entail, but also wrapping our heads around construction escalation costs,” he said. “We’re seeing increased escalation as a result of what’s happening in the industry right now.”
KISD Executive Director for Facilities Services Adam Rich said construction costs have escalated anywhere between 10 to 20 percent in the past 12 months nationwide.
“All of the prices are difficult to stomach,” Rich said.
Chief Financial Officer Megan Bradley presented the board with an overview of where the remaining 2018 construction bond projects stand and what future construction projects the district has on the horizon.
“Most of these (2018 construction bond) projects are finished,” Bradley said. “The ones we’re still working on currently are the Killeen High School, Chaparral High School, and some of the ADA projects as well.”
The next KISD construction project pending board approval is the district’s 15th middle school, expected to be located just south of the KISD’s newest high school.
“We believe our next construction item will be Middle School #15, which will be the middle school that will go right south of Chaparral High School,” she said. “We already own the land for that on the other corner of the S-curve. We’re working on that plan and hoping to open that school for 2024 fall.”
The board discussed the possibility of building a new elementary school off of Farm-to-Market 2410 versus constructing it in Nolanville in place of the current Nolanville Elementary School, which is located on Old Nolanville Road.
“There are some topography challenges we need to work through, so we’re still kind of vetting the whole project,” Rich said about the potential Nolanville Elementary School replacement.
A new elementary school in Nolanville may be just what the district needs next, Craft said.
“Nolanville is at capacity,” he said. “Anything we see being developed to the south is just going to be adding to that capacity issue. We think by building that 1300-capacity prototype will suffice the need up to (Farm-to-Market) 2410.”
No action was taken on the district’s long-range facility plan during the board workshop.
Board President JoAnn Purser, Board Secretary Brett Williams, and board member Marvin Rainwater were not present for Tuesday’s KISD board workshop.