Students nickname portable infused Eastwood High 'Fort Eastwood'

Fort Eastwood

EL PASO, Texas - Eastwood High students have nicknamed their high school, currently undergoing a $93 million transformation, "Fort Eastwood."

The moniker is meant to describe the 69 portable classrooms that will line the campus property during construction.

"The juniors are going to be in portables all year long, I feel really bad for them," said senior Karen Dobler.

In 2015, voters in the Ysleta Independent School District approved a record-setting $430 million bond.

The money is being used to renovate schools, upgrade technology and improve athletic fields, but Eastwood will undergo one of the biggest transformations.

Work is underway to tear down the main classroom building, which will be replaced with a new multi-level, state-of-the-art facility.

The school first opened in 1961 and has housed decades of families who attend the east El Paso school, including principal Armenia Smith.

"I got to go to school here, I opened the school and my father built the first burning of the 'E,'" Smith said. The burning of the 'E' is a tradition seen during homecoming week at Eastwood.

Smith is retiring at the end of the school year, but encourages the incoming principal to continue the school's traditions.

Ruly Medrano, a teacher at Eastwood, is a 1986 graduate and proud Trooper.

"I'm not going to lie, it's going to sting a little bit see the old building go," Medrano said.

In two years, the campus will have a new building. Meantime, students and staff will have to work through the growing pains.

Some of the underclassmen told ABC-7 it will pose some challenges, but they like the nickname.

"It might be a little difficult were gonna be in here for two years, I'm gonna graduate from Fort Eastwood," said Natasha Reyes.

Other students are looking forward to the new campus.

"It will have more technology," said one freshman.

Incoming freshman will take their courses at Eastwood Middle School during the first year of construction, and bus back and forth for extracurricular activities like sports and band.

Smith estimates the growing pains could mean losing as many as 50 students, but adds there are plenty of transfer requests from students who want to attend Eastwood.

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