|Fannin Middle School library|
The $100 million bond, passed by voters in November 2017, focuses on four main areas of construction and renovation across AISD: safety and security ($11.5 million) classroom additions ($25.3 million), facility updates ($35.3 million) and restoration and replacement ($27.9 million). As of the end of May, approximately 62 percent of all the bond projects will be under contract and in various stages of construction at 33 schools.
In addition to the new library, work at Fannin includes a new secured entrance with bullet resistant glass, refurbished courtyard areas, an enlarged cafeteria, restroom renovations, and the addition of 11 new classrooms to alleviate overcrowding. While the 2017 bond will touch virtually all AISD schools, the renovation of Fannin, which was built in 1957, is the most extensive at a single campus. The Fannin project is scheduled to be complete by August 2020.
Construction is underway at several other AISD campuses this spring and more schools will be added to the schedule this summer as contractors take advantage of empty school buildings to make significant headway on projects across the District. “All of the principals, teachers, office staff and students at the campuses where we’ve started bond construction projects have been very calm and positive about the inconveniences and hardships,” said Cindy Ray, AISD Bond Construction Director. “After all the planning and design work, it’s exciting to see actual construction happening and projects beginning to be completed.”
In general, the $100 million bond addresses renovation and restoration needs associated with Amarillo ISD’s aging schools and adds an additional layer of safety and security. More specifically the bond will provide:
Plumbing and sewer line replacement at most AISD schools.
Restroom renovations at high schools, middle schools and a few elementary schools.
Drainage improvements at many schools.
Bullet resistant glass installed in exterior doors at all elementary and middle schools.
Drop-off/pick-up location safety improvements at several schools.
High Schools – overhaul of auditoriums (to include new acoustics, lighting, sound systems, upholstered seating and flooring), restroom renovations and expansion of public restrooms.
Construction is well underway and scheduled to be complete by the end of 2020 at Palo Duro High School, Travis and Mann middle schools and Allen 6th Grade Campus. A major part of construction at each of these schools will be restroom renovations, replacement of plumbing and sanitation lines, and drop-off area improvements. In addition to auditorium renovations at Palo Duro, existing basement space will be converted to classrooms. New windows will be installed at Mann, Allen 6th Grade is getting a new play court, and both of these schools will receive new drop-off areas.
Construction is also underway on a package of projects at Coronado and Lee elementary schools and Amarillo and Tascosa high schools. These projects have started but aren’t scheduled to be complete until the end of 2020. At the two high schools, auditoriums are being completely remodeled and Activity Center public restrooms will be renovated and expanded this summer. Work is currently underway to renovate the front entrance at Tascosa, and Amarillo High’s interior courtyard will be completely redone. At Coronado and Lee, plumbing and sewer lines will be replaced, bullet-resistant glass will be installed in exterior doors, drainage work will be done, and drop-off/pick-up areas will be improved.
The next schools in line to start construction include the Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning and 15 elementary schools. Work is scheduled to start mid-May and conclude by spring 2020. Renovations will include bullet-resistant glass installation in exterior doors, plumbing/sewer line replacement and drainage improvements at almost all of these schools. Rogers Elementary will receive the most significant renovations in this group of schools, including improvements to drop-off areas, relocation of teacher parking, relocation of the playground and renovation of student restrooms.
A large project that will include Caprock High School and Tradewind Elementary will be bid this summer. At Caprock, the old main gym facility will be converted into 12 classrooms and a choir room and a new auxiliary gym facility will be built. Other renovations include an auditorium remodel (summer of 2020), renovations to restrooms, plumbing/sewer line replacement, drainage improvements, a new parking lot, window replacement and renovations to restrooms and showers in the locker rooms. Tradewind will receive bullet resistant glass and drainage improvements.
The remaining 2017 bond projects are scheduled to begin within the next two years, with the final projects targeted to be complete by summer of 2021. Construction costs have been rising since the bond election was passed, but although about $32 million worth of work remains to be bid, projections are that bond funds will be sufficient to accomplish all the work that is planned.