EL PASO, Texas - While some Borderland school districts are seeing a decrease in enrollment, the Socorro Independent School District is adding hundreds of students every year.
Thomas Eyeington, the district's chief operations officer, said the district plans on building a new elementary school with leftover funds from a $297 million bond measure that was passed in 2011 to help handle the growth.
"We have seen over the last two years a little over 700 students a year growth. Whereas some of our other districts have seen a lot more decline. But we are seeing the growth in our neighborhoods because of the new housing coming in and the businesses coming in," Eyeington said.
School officials have not decided on an exact location, but they know the new school will be built in the Pebble Hills area in Far East El Paso.
Eyeington said the district had a $37 million bond savings. The district will use about $20 million to pay for the new elementary school. The remainder of the savings has already been spent on air conditioning upgrades at four middle schools.
Construction on the new school is expected to begin late this year.
The district has already used the bond money to build two new high schools, Eastlake High School and Pebble Hills High School. The funds were also used to build Mission Ridge, Purple Heart, Butler and Fuentes schools.
If the growth continues, districts officials say the need for more facilities will also grow.
"Last year we had an assessment done on 14 of our schools that were not touched by our two most recent bond programs. So, that study has been completed," Eyeington said. "We found there are some needs because of growth. We need the new elementary school that we are talking about. Plus, we will need about two or three more elementary schools and possibly a middle school in the next five years or so."
The bond money has been used to build two new high schools, Eastlake High School and Pebble Hills High School. The funds were also used to build the Purple Heart, Fuentes, Butler and Mission Ridge schools.