By Moses Leos III
Two properties in Buda will be up for discussion by the district’s High School No. 3 location committee as they pinpoint where a potential campus could go.
But the gravity of the discussion will cause the committee to wait until March to finalize its recommendation to the board of trustees.
According to Hays CISD public information officer Tim Savoy, the committee’s decision to delay its recommendation came in February.
The committee had envisioned bringing a recommendation to the board during February board meetings.
“(The committee) met and continued discussion, and decided that there is not a rush (to make a decision),” Savoy said. “This is not a matter of sticking to a timeline. They want to make a careful decision.”
The committee relaxed on discussions after the second public forum that was held at the Performing Arts Center.
Participants at the forum weighed in on the committee’s focus of two potential sites for the new high school. One site is located near Carpenter Hill Elementary School, while the second would be within the Sunfield Municipal Utility District (MUD).
Savoy said public input presented viable points for both locations, and that members of the public presented “good points and arguments.”
He welcomed the feedback from the public, which includes 458 comments submitted to the district’s website.
In addition, committee members are making themselves available to those who may not wish to speak during public forums.
“We’re glad to see people coming out and talking about this. This is what it’s all about,” Savoy said. “The committee is reading all comments and taking what people are saying very seriously.”
Despite the slight delay, Savoy said the district would still have 15 months from the bond election passes to get preliminary work done.
“It puts it back a month from getting started on preliminary work, but it’s a month well spent to get the decision right,” Savoy said.
Placing a potential third high school onto a bond will be up to a future bond committee, which Savoy said could start meeting in fall 2016.
Savoy said there will be “a lot of things on the table, as with any bond,” with the committee narrowing down projects.
He said the high school is “getting the most attention and it will all the way through.”
But he added that it would be up to the bond committee to place a high school on the ballot.
While the district doesn’t have a cost estimate for the bond at this time, a possible third high school would cost roughly $100 million. The campus would include athletic facilities similar to what Lehman High currently has.
Other items that could possibly be included in a bond would be two or three new elementary schools, or a seventh middle school.
“You put everything out there – there’s a needs and wish list of what you can afford to do and what’s prudent to do. The committee narrows it down and makes a recommendation,” Savoy said. “I don’t see scenario where a high school isn’t at top of the list or in the top three.”