The Socorro Independent School District is still wrangling with big demographic changes and how to deal with unexpected millions in bond savings. SISD is expanding while other local districts are struggling to keep students. Now, they may have some more funding than originally expected to respond to those changes.
Staff, board members and the public met for a special meeting at SISD headquarters on the far east side Wednesday evening. The main focuses were a facilities assessment update about the needs across the district and at specific campuses and the 2011 bond progress and savings, which are substantial.
Of the original $297.4 million in the 2011 bond, there's been $20.6 million saved so far, even after the inclusion of other unplanned improvements like $16.4 million in HVAC upgrades at the middle school campuses. There are 4 projects under the bond remaining to be completed with another million dollars in savings expected from those. That money is being looked at for big new possibilities.
"Well the board is basically looking at that," said Tom Eyeington, chief operating officer for SISD. "There is the need for another elementary school. But until there is a directive from the board, we'll have to wait and see what the board says."
Building a new elementary school is estimated to cost about $30.4 million, so SISD would have to find some more money to bring that closer to a reality. Some 45,000 students are enrolled in the district this year. Architects consulting for the district have recommended the construction of four news schools in the district within the next ten years.