The Corpus Christi Independent School District is asking voters in the district to approve a $136.2 million bond proposal this November.
For district officials, Thursday's lesson plan was educating the public about what that bond package will pay for.
Three elementary schools: Woodlawn, Montclair, and Meadowbrook, will consolidate into one new elementary school on the old Cullen Middle School site. Those three schools currently have a combined enrollment of more than 1,000 students, which would make the new elementary one of the city's largest.
Cullen Middle School was closed and consolidated with Haas in 2018. It was demolished shortly afterwards, with the gym being all that’s left. This continues a trend of CCISD repurposing old properties for new schools.
“Certainly, in Cullen’s case, we hung onto that, and then this opportunity arose, and so we’re happy to have that to be able to use it there,” said CCISD Communications Director Leanne Libby.
During a presentation Thursday, Libby told the Corpus Christi Rotary Club the gym can be incorporated into the new building.
The school on the Cullen site will be one of three new elementary schools in the district, joining one on the southeast part of town, each with a price tag of $35 million. CCISD also plans to build a replacement for Gibson Elementary for $24 million. A $10 million renovation also is planned for Menger Elementary, with another $20 million in renovations planned for Ray High School, and $11 million for Miller High School.
Add $1.2 million for demolition costs, and the bond totals $136.2 million. Libby told the rotary club this package won’t increase taxes.
“We wanted to continue our bond program if it was possible, and with this package it is, without doing a tax increase, so we could continue replacing these aging buildings and renovating others,” said Libby.
The average age of the buildings affected by the bond is 72 years old, and Libby said the bond would allow the district to work on investing in safer physical spaces for students.
“Replacing those buildings that are outliving their useful life, while others that we know we can go in and do a major renovation, and they’re going to be good as new,” said Libby.
Libby also told rotarians the three elementary schools being consolidated here are being closed because they're the old ‘open-wing’ design, which is a security risk. Meanwhile the oldest buildings, Menger and Miller, are in good shape and are more secure, so they're being renovated.
If voters approve the bond proposal, Libby said work on the projects will start as soon as possible.