EL PASO - As the new Eastwood High School continues to take shape in East El Paso, so do the growing pains for a school that still has more than a year left in the construction process.
The $96.3 million project is part of the Ysleta Independent School District's multi-million bond approved by voters in 2015.
This school year, Eastwood saw its enrollment drop, and last week, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) announced Eastwood was dropping from Class 6A to Class 5A. The UIL's realignment is based on student enrollment numbers.
Did the decline in enrollment have anything to do with the construction project? Eastwood principal David Boatright believes construction may have been one factor, but not entirely.
"We've lost a little less than a hundred kids," Boatright said. "It could be due to construction. I don't know the reason, but we feel confident that once the building is done that we'll shoot back up to 6A."
The UIL also increased the cutoff number for 6A schools this year. The previous realignment number for 6A was 2,150, this year that number shot up to 2,190. Eastwood's enrollment number for this school year was 2,161.
The Troopers could have opted to stay in 6A, but Boatright said a majority of the coaches agreed to move down to 5A.
"So the number brought us to 5A and we feel that in several programs we can build some momentum going back up to 6A and that's our goal," Boatright said.
Construction at Eastwood is expected to be completed in time for the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.
In the meantime, the traditions at Eastwood will continue amid all the bulldozers and cranes.
The excitement also building for the brand new Eastwood High School.
"We haven't missed a beat in terms of instruction and traditions," Boatright said. "People who went here they want their kids to go here, my kids went here and it's a great place."