San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

August 29th, 2008
Once more, crowding cramps Hays elementaries

STAFF REPORT

BUDA – The Hays CISD Trustees approved a $104.4 million budget Thursday with a repeat of last year’s property tax rate, $1.4613. But the big development consisted in more news about growth straining the district’s elementary schools.

The school district’s fourth-day enrollment reached 13.722, 906 students more than the same day last year. Eastside elementary schools Science Hall and Tom Green have absorbed the largest share of the burden.

Hays CISD Chief Financial Officer Carter Scherff reported that Science Hall is at capacity for kindergarten and English-speaking first grade, as well as bilingual fourth grade. Science Hall is in only its second year of operation. Tom Green also is at capacity for bilingual fourth grade.

Any students enrolling from this point forward for Science Hall in kindergarten and English-speaking first grade will be transferred to Tom Green, while new Science Hall enrollees for fourth grade will be directed to Blanco Vista Elementary.

Students in those grades who are redirected will be provided transportation by the school district. Such students can transfer to any other schools they desire, but they would have to provide their own transportation.

In May, the voters in Hays CISD approved $86.7 million in bonds without an anticipated tax-rate increase to fund two elementary schools, a new middle school and other districtwide improvements. The elementaries are scheduled to open next year.

Hays CISD Superintendent Kirk London told the board that he is soon to reconvene the school district’s Growth Impact Committee (GIC) to work out attendance zones for the new schools, which will inevitably lead to adjustments in the attendance zones for Science Hall and Tom Green, not to mention every other elementary school.

The trustees Thursday night also approved a guaranteed maximum price of $1.3 million for improvement work at Hays High School, Dahlstrom Middle School, Elm Grove Elementary School and Fuentes Elementary School.

“All four of these projects are part of the 2008 bond,” Scherff said. “We had hoped to have most of them completed by the end of the summer, but the permitting process delayed us.”

Scherff said that within the next week, equipment will show up at the schools to complete improvements to the parent drop-off at DMS and EGES, drainage in front of Fuentes Elementary and additional parking at Hays High School.

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