Committee tabs northwest site for Hays CISD’s third high school

By Moses Leos III

Hays CISD’s process of finding a site for a proposed third high school got a step closer to being finalized last week.

On March 10, the Hays CISD Site Selection Committee voted to recommend building the district’s third high school at a northwest site along Ranch Road 967.

Hays CISD’s committee will present its recommendation to the Board of Trustees on March 21. The board could vote on the site during its March 28 meeting.

The northwest site, which is located near Carpenter Hill Elementary School, was one of two potential locations the district pinpointed for the third high school campus, which could be included in a May 2017 bond.

According to the district, Hays CISD’s third high school could cost $100 million.

Hays CISD’s alternate option was a site located in the northeast portion of the district in the Sunfield Municipal Utility District.

But local residents expressed concerns that the northeast site was located in Travis County. Because of the location, response times for emergency services for the northeast location raised additional concerns.

According to the district, the nearest fire station, located along FM 1327 in Travis County, is roughly five minutes from the third high school campus. The nearest EMS station located on Ralph Ablanedo Dr. is 11 minutes from the proposed third high school site.

Response times for the northwest location were less than two minutes for Fire and EMS service, as Buda Fire Station No. 3 is located less than a mile from the site.

Emergency services availability was one of 11 criteria considered by the committee on March 10 when submitting its recommendation.

The northwest site scored a 4.8 out of 5, while the northeast site scored 2.3 for emergency services.

Hays CISD’s site on RR 967 scored higher in six categories, including site access and site elevation, than the site in Sunfield MUD.

A new transportation facility, however, will not accompany the proposed northwest site for the high school.

According to a statement from Hays CISD, the district in 2009 had a conceptual schematic design to show the “possible maximum use of the property.” It was done when the district was applying for an impervious cover construction variance on the RR 967 property.

The conceptual design called for a school bus transportation center as long-range use facility on the property.

But according to the release, the idea has “been abandoned as incompatible on that property with a high school.”

“Any discussion of building a transportation center would be part of a future bond committee to determine its need and location, a Board vote to call for that item on an election ballot, and approval by voters to build the facility,” Savoy said in the statement.

He went on to add Hays CISD administration has “not discussed this matter as a viable option.”

“The administration does not and will not recommend a transportation facility on the proposed northwest high school property,” Savoy said in a statement.

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