By Alexis Aguirre
Hays CISD and its Growth Impact Committee are working on a bond package that could be voted on in 2017 to the creation of a third high school.
As part of the fastest growing county in America, a new high school to accommodate the growing student population is needed before the schools reach maximum capacity.
According to the district’s website, both Hays and Lehman high schools are over their functional capacity limit.
Each high school has a functional capacity of 2,250. Hays High’s current population is 2,653 students and Lehman High School has 2,408 students. The schools are projected to grow to 3,022 and 2,519 respectively if no new high school is built.
Hays CISD public information officer Tim Savoy said a third high school has been in the works for some time. It would have been on the 2014 bond package but they had reached their limit, Savoy said.
“We can’t just add portables as a solution,” Savoy said. “You also have to think about the capacity of the cafeteria and gyms. We can’t just keep making new lunch periods because then it soon turns into breakfast.”
Another concern is whether or not Hays CISD’s football stadium, Bob Shelton Stadium, could handle a third high school. Shelton Stadium is the current home for Hays and Lehman high schools.
According to Savoy, this should not be an issue.
Rather than wait for the bond package to be passed, the school district is scouting possible locations for the third high school.
“We want to provide the voters with as much information as we can,” Savoy said. “If we pick a location now instead of waiting until after 2017, we can just go right ahead and build it and not waste time.”
The district currently owns four pieces of property that could hold the future high school. They are hoping that knowing where the high school would be built would help to sell it to voters as the common concern is not whether the high school is necessary but where it would be located.
Voters can voice their opinion on the Hays CISD website on an open forum. The high school is estimated to cost $100 million, although this could change once all the information is in.
The proposal for the bond will be voted on in 2017. According to Savoy, if the bond passes, the new high school could be built as early as 2019.