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Dripping Springs ISD to purchase more buses and portable buildings

By Megan Wehring 

DRIPPING SPRINGS — Student enrollment growth is inevitable as the city of Dripping Springs, and Hays County as a whole, continues to see new families moving in. 

At the Jan. 31 meeting, the Dripping Springs ISD (DSISD) Board of Trustees approved the purchase of eight total buses and two portable buildings using fund balance dollars.

Each bus will cost approximately $125,000, according to quotes from the selected vendor, which equals to a total cost of approximately $1 million for all eight buses. Buses should be replaced every 12 to 15 years, according to the district’s best practice recommendation. But other factors should also be considered including mileage, condition and cost of maintenance. 

To accommodate more students at Sycamore Springs Middle School, DSISD estimates that it will need four additional classrooms for the 2022-2023 school year. Two of the classrooms will be portables, upon director of facilities Clint Pruett’s recommendation. 

Two portable buildings are estimated to cost about $320,000 with construction, additional technology and furniture in mind.

While the item was given unanimous approval, board member Ron Jones said that he does not want portables to be a permanent solution.

“It’s not desirable,” Jones said. “I’m sure I’m not the only one that will suffer heartburn over this item. I think in this situation, I don’t see a lot of other options where we are right now with the growth and our current disposition.” 

Superintendent Holly Morris-Kuentz echoed that the portables are only a short-term fix. 

“We don’t want portables long-term either,” Morris-Kuentz explained. “It’s not our long-term solution [but]certainly though, we have to buy portables in January [2022] to have them for the start of the [next]school year.”

About Author

Megan Navarro (formerly Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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