DSISD okays land purchase for new campuses

By Camelia Juarez

By a unanimous vote Aug. 24, Dripping Springs ISD leaders adopted a resolution to purchase property that is large enough to potentially house a new elementary and middle school campus.

The property is located north of U.S. Highway 290 between Ranch Road 12 and Sawyer Ranch Road. Dripping Springs ISD’s Board of Trustees approved the purchase, which amounted to $1.715 million. The cost is to be paid from 2018 bond funds. 

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Scott Drillette said a new elementary school and middle school are not in the works, but the land is one step closer.

“This property will provide an option for facilities to accommodate future student enrollment. While it has not been determined when schools would be built there, the property is large enough for both an elementary and a middle school,” Drillette said.

Currently, DSISD has been growing at a rate of 5 to 6 percent for the past several years and currently serves 7,200 students. Drillette said they chose this property in this area to keep up with rapid growth in the area.

“During bond presentations, district officials stated that a preferred location for property would be north of 290 between Ranch Road 12 and Sawyer Ranch Road,” Drillette said.

Drillete said the property, located in the Headwaters subdivision, is “relatively central within the district” and identified as a future high growth area in the demographic study.”

The land will be purchased using funds from the the voter approved DSISD 2018 bond package, which included $9 million for land acquisition. The $132 million bond was initially approved May 5, 2018 by a slim 31-vote margin. DSISD’s bond package survived several legal challenges from the Citizens for Excellent Education for Dripping Springs (CEEDS), which included a recount of the original May 5 election, as well as a lawsuit that was dismissed.

DSISD officials said there is a 120-day inspection period that follows the board action. During that time, DSISD staff will work on pricing the shared costs between the district and developers of the Headwaters subdivision.

Those share costs include utility improvements and infrastructure associated with the property.

DSISD expects to close on the property prior to a December 2020 deadline.

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