Hays CISD puts new campus design on display

Placing learning “on display” could be in store for Hays CISD’s proposed third high school as administrators viewed the schematic design for the first time Monday.

The district’s proposed high school, which could be placed into the district’s May 2017 bond initiative, has a projected price tag of $122 million dollars, Chief Operation Officer Carter Scherff said.

Hays CISD’s third high school, which would be located east of Carpenter Hill Elementary, will be roughly 413,500 square feet, which would make it larger than both Hays and Lehman High schools.

Scherff said the campus has a functional capacity of 2,250 students, which is similar to Hays and Lehman High schools.

Scherff said, however, the district “desperately needs” the campus, as Hays CISD currently has over 5,000 high school students. Scherff estimates the district could have over 6,000 high school students when the campus is projected to open by August 2019.

“That means probably when we open it … we would already had or soon to have bonds issued for high school number four,” Scherff said. “We are in a period of growth that is very rapid.”

Scotty Denney, a representative with Stantec, said the “big picture” for the school is to put learning on display.

“Rather than this being something that is just sectioned off in certain aspects of the school, we wanted to put every aspect of learning on display,” Denney said.

He added the design team wanted the campus to be “engaging and comfortable school” for students and for it to be high performing.

Trustees, however, had concerns, one being the location of nearby residences.

Denney said homes are located on the north side of the site, with a few homes on the east side, which are shaded by trees. Denney said lighting from sports fields would be directed away from homes. Speakers at stadium scoreboards would also direct sound to the south, away from homes as well.

Trustee Merideth Keller was concerned over a proposed lone entrance on FM 967, which she said is “quite limiting,” and asked about a second entry point. She also asked if district officials have talked with TxDOT.

While there have been traffic studies conducted, no detailed conversations have been held with TxDOT regarding construction of a second entrance, according to district officials.

An engineer with the district said the width of the road, which is similar to Kyle Parkway, would bring traffic off of FM 967 and “allow it to move conveniently in and out to appropriate locations.”

The district’s plan is to build the road and dedicate it to the city of Buda, but only if the city annexes the area in the future, one official said.

Keller said she hopes the district explores additional entryways to the school, as the campus may need them. She cited the multiple entrances into Hays High on FM 2770.

District officials also ruled out the possibility of a second varsity high school football stadium being built on the site.

The new school will have a 1,200 capacity stadium for junior varsity football. Varsity football would share Bob Shelton Stadium with Hays and Lehman.

Future discussion could lead to varsity home football games being played on Thursday or Saturday.

“If there are dreams out there, I wanted to crush them early,” board president Holly Raymond said.

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