2018 Bond Proposal Includes Repair and Replacement Work To Bring Aging Facilities Up to Date
By Beth Dombrowa
In 2016, Ross S. Sterling students, staff and alumni celebrated the school’s 50th anniversary. The campus’ mechanical system was also a guest at the party, as parts of it were installed when the campus was originally constructed.
The 2018 bond proposal includes large-scale mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) projects, as well as roofing projects, that have been identified as priority needs within the district due to aging facilities and end of life expectancy of components. While not as visible as new schools or high-tech STEM labs, MEP projects are essential to student learning as they keep buildings cool or warm, plumbing working correctly and up to code, and maximize lighting in classrooms. As every homeowner knows, at some point a major home system or component will need to be overhauled or replaced – usually at the most inconvenient time -- and the same is true for facilities within the district. Despite year-round, round-the-clock maintenance, at some point every system fails and/or requires major parts to be replaced to work efficiently.
A major concern, and one of the largest MEP projects in the 2018 bond proposal, is the mechanical system at Ross S. Sterling High School. While several aspects of the system have been repaired many times over the years, parts of it are five decades old. Due to its age, the system is expensive, inefficient and difficult to regulate. Its inefficiency leads to excess humidity in the building, which can have a domino effect on other aspects of the campus. The district must replace the floor of the Winnie Brown gym, for example, due in part to high humidity that caused it to buckle.
In addition, the mechanical system at Sterling is so old it can’t be operated remotely, nor can it zone parts of the campus that require specific cooling parameters. The end result of the antiquated system is higher operating cost to the district, as well as additional personnel cost since extra maintenance staff must remain onsite for evening and weekend events.
Robert E. Lee High School had a similar mechanical system until voters passed the 2013 bond, which included a new mechanical system for the district’s oldest high school. Since then, the district has saved thousands of dollars annually by operating a much newer, more efficient system that allows for electronic access and control. The district is able to correctly zone areas of the campus for maximum efficiency; for example, gyms and libraries typically need to stay online longer and require more air conditioning than smaller areas of the campus.
Other campuses, including DeZavala, Harlem and Highlands Elementary are also operating with their original HVAC systems which were installed in 1995. After 23 years, major components of those systems need to be replaced, which will result in higher efficiency, lower costs and more steady, comfortable temperatures in those schools for students and staff.
Another example of the “unseen” projects included in the 2018 bond proposal are roofs. Baytown and Gentry Junior Schools, Austin Elementary, Hopper Primary, Sterling High School, and the GCCISD Service Center are all in need of complete or major roof replacements. Typically, roofs are warrantied for 20 years, although with good maintenance, they can last another 5 to 10 years. The roofs at these campuses are all about 30 years old or more and have experienced significant issues, which can result in major leaks or water intrusion, deterioration of adjacent building components, increased susceptibility to adverse weather, increase in humidity inside buildings and constant, costly maintenance.
While modernized HVAC systems and roof replacements contribute to energy efficiency, the bond proposal also includes additional projects that are sound environmental practice, and, as an added bonus, provide cost savings to the district. More than 20 years ago, organizations with large-scale operations made the switch from knob-turn and non-metered lever-turn faucets in restrooms, to metered faucets that control water output and, therefore, minimize utility costs while also conserving water. Replacing 20 older faucets with metered faucets can save 1,020 gallons of water per day or 3,315,000 gallons over the faucets’ lifetime. Over the years, GCCISD has replaced faucets in many campuses, but still needs to replace faucets in campuses where there is high water consumption. The old-style knob-turn faucets are not ADA compliant, and the lever-turn faucets are extremely wasteful in regard to water consumption.
For a comprehensive overview of MEP projects in the 2018 bond proposal, as well as all other projects, visit gccisd.net. Early voting begins April 23 and Election Day is May 5.
Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman
Bond Proposal Includes Expanded Learning Opportunities for Career and Technical Students
By Beth Dombrowa
Career and Technical Education (CTE) prepares students for success in college and careers by helping them develop skills, technical knowledge and academic rigor for high-skill and high-demand careers. Goose Creek CISD offers robust CTE programs that allow area students to explore their interests and gain real-world experience in a number of career fields. The 2018 bond proposal includes projects that would further enhance GCCISD’s CTE programs, increasing learning opportunities for district students and meeting the future staffing needs of business and industry.
At the beginning of the 2017 – 2018 school year, GCCISD opened the doors of application-based Stuart Career Tech High School with a class of freshman who enrolled in one of four academies: Culinary Arts, Manufacturing and Industrial Maintenance, Agricultural Science (formerly called Environmental Conservation), and Transportation/Advanced Automotive. Students who were accepted into the program have opportunities for apprenticeships and internships, partnerships with local business and industry, and the chance to earn associate’s degrees, college credit and/or certifications in their field of study while still in high school. The Stuart Career Center renovation was approved by the voters in the 2013 bond, and the academies and courses were endorsed by local business and industry as the in-demand jobs of the future.
The first construction phase of Stuart Career Tech High School expanded and updated the campus, which for years was the Stuart Career Center where students attended part of the school day to take CTE courses. Now a full high school, Stuart Career Tech High School offers expanded CTE programs of study as well as core curriculum courses. Although only open to freshman this year, the campus will continue to grow, adding a new cohort of students each year.
Included in the 2018 bond package are phases 2 and 2A of Stuart Career Tech High School. While currently large enough to house classes of freshman and sophomores, the campus is in need of additional classrooms to support juniors and seniors. The proposal also includes space for two additional career academies: Information Technology and Communications/Global Media, which will provide students with even more career options. In addition, the bond proposal would also add a veterinary medical lab, which would enable Agricultural Science students to earn a veterinary assistance certification. The bond package also includes an expansion of the Transportation/Advanced Automotive Academy, which will include updating the automotive technology lab, a new collision repair facility and the addition of a diesel technology lab.
While Stuart Career Tech High School is a CTE campus, GCCISD also offers CTE courses at Sterling, Lee and Goose Creek Memorial High Schools. Sterling’s current construction lab currently can only safely accommodate 15-17 students, yet student interest in construction coursework is greater. With voter approval, the 2018 bond would fund a new construction technology building. The current construction lab would then be converted into additional space for the Health Science Academy, which is housed at Sterling and is the district’s fastest growing academy. The current cosmetology lab on the campus also would be converted into a Health Science industry certification lab.
Also included in the bond package is a Robotics lab, which would provide the district’s robotics team an arena to practice with their robot. Student interest in robotics has grown substantially in recent years, and the district predicts additional growth as participation in elementary coding clubs and junior school robotics is increasing.
Election day is May 5 and early voting begins April 23 at a number of GCCISD campuses. For more information about voting and about the 2018 bond proposal, please visit gccisd.net.
Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman
Proposed Multipurpose Center, Only Item on Prop 2, Would Host Variety Of Events
By Beth Dombrowa
Voters will have an opportunity in May to consider the 2018 GCCISD bond proposal. Proposition Two on the ballot includes a single item: a multipurpose center. Since the Board of Trustees called for the bond, there has been a great deal of conversation about the proposed multipurpose center and how it would serve the community.
A common misconception is that the proposed multipurpose center includes a new stadium. However, a new stadium hasn’t been considered as part of the bond; rather, the district plans to make much-needed enhancements to Stallworth Stadium if the bond passes.
A second misconception is that the multipurpose center is intended to be only a sports arena. Although it’s accurate that such a facility would host sporting and fine arts events, including basketball tournaments, cheer and dance competitions, as well as band, orchestra and choir concerts, bringing thousands of students from throughout the greater Houston area and beyond to Baytown to compete, the proposed multipurpose center is exactly what it’s called: a facility that is flexible enough to accommodate all sorts of events, competitions, meetings, offices and more.
Should voters approve the multipurpose center, GCCISD plans to use it for district events such as graduation, (alleviating the need for families to drive to another destination to watch their senior cross the stage), convocation, prom and banquets. It’s also possible that the district could relocate some of its personnel, like Nutrition Services, to the facility.
School districts that have multipurpose centers utilize them in different ways; for example, Klein ISD’s multipurpose center includes a barn and auction arena. Aldine ISD has operated a multipurpose center since 1996. Known as the M.O. Campbell Center, the 182,050 square-foot facility is home to about 1,500 events each year, including events held by outside organizations such as concerts and receptions. And the Berry Center, located in Cy-Fair ISD, has an 11,000 seat athletic stadium; a 15,333 square-foot staff development/conference center that can be partitioned into 17 rooms, a 456-seat theater and more. While GCCISD would design and build a multipurpose center that meets the needs of the local community, the district also anticipates that it could rent the facility, especially given that there isn’t a similar facility anywhere in the vicinity, on the east side of the greater Houston area. Below is an overview of Houston-area multipurpose centers:
Merrell Center, Katy ISD, 4,500 seats / 52 miles from Baytown
Berry Center, Cy-Fair ISD, 8,300 seats / 50 miles from Baytown
Campbell Center, Aldine ISD, 6,400 seats / 32 miles from Baytown
Humble Convention Center, 5,000 seats / 29 miles from Baytown
Pasadena Convention Center, 4,000 seats / 21 miles from Baytown
Ford Arena in Beaumont, 8,500 seats / 58 miles from Baytown
Rental fees collected through outside organizations’ use of the proposed GCCISD multipurpose center may be used to offset annual operating expenses or for payments against the bond debt.
The Citizens Facilities Planning Committee, an all-volunteer group of community leaders, parents and grandparents, reviewed and discussed projects for consideration in the bond package, and the multipurpose center was among them. The committee endorsed the project after learning about the successful utilization of multipurpose facilities in other school districts before the entire bond package went to the Board of Trustees for approval. The multipurpose center is presented as a separate proposition which will allow the community to vote on this item independently.
The bond election is May 5. Early voting begins April 23. For voting locations and times, please visit gccisd.net.
Photos by Susan Passmore
To follow proper fire drill protocol, San Jacinto Elementary students, accompanied by their teachers, must cross streets to get at least 100 feet away from the school, which sits on only 2.7 acres.
San Jacinto Elementary Rebuild is on 2018 Bond
By Susan Passmore
San Jacinto Elementary needs doorways widened and restrooms enlarge to be in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Shown here, a small restroom is not built to ADA compliance.
San Jacinto Elementary School’s library size limits the selection of books offered and is not large enough to be used for faculty meetings.
Nestled snugly in a neighborhood in West Baytown, San Jacinto Elementary has been the home of the Bears since 1982. A true community school, more students walk to this campus than to any other school in Goose Creek CISD. While the small school feel of SJE appeals to many students and parents, addressing students’ needs for a 21st Century learning environment was a priority for the Citizen’s Facility Planning Committee (CFPC), so the rebuilding of the aging school at another location is a major construction project on the 2018 Bond proposal.
Simply renovating San Jacinto Elementary would not solve all the issues. The school sits on 2.7 acres as opposed to the district average of 14 acres for elementary schools. As a result, parking is inadequate for staff and visitors, and the district must rent a small area across the street from the school for additional parking.
SJE’s principal Rachel McAdam also points out some safety concerns at the school.
“There is no bus lane, so parents picking up their students must share the line with the buses. They park in the back on Kentucky Street at the end of the day, and we take the kids to the street, since there is no student drop-off or pick-up lane,” McAdam said.
An additional safety issue involves procedures during fire drills, since students must cross streets, filing into the parking lots of Life Church, San Jacinto Clinic, the additional faculty parking lot as well as Bergeron Park, to allow them to be at least 100 feet away from the school.
Classrooms at SJE are smaller than those at most elementary schools in Goose Creek CISD, and every available space is used, leaving little room for placement of the teachers’ computer carts. Even an area that was previously used for a custodial closet is now a small classroom. Backpacks must be left in lockers outside the classrooms.
“Our classroom size limits having small groups or stations, and it’s difficult to store iPads,” said SJE teacher Corina Garcia.
Since there are no windows in the classrooms, there is no natural light. Also, there is no room for Life Skills or other special programs at SJE, and the school has only one full computer lab. The small library limits the selection of books.
Outside, the play areas are small, and there is standing water by the portable buildings, which not only creates a muddy mess, but also is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“We are so close to St. Joseph Catholic School that in the three years I’ve been principal, we’ve broken three of their windows with balls, including one in the principal’s office,” McAdam said.
Some of the outside doors are right beside the doors students enter to line up in the cafeteria. Also, to be in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), doorways need to be widened, pipes under the restroom sinks must be covered and classrooms and restrooms need to be enlarged.
While a few of the needs are easy fixes, others would require significant remodeling and expanding at a great cost. Since there is no place to grow, the CFPC considered the age of the facility and the fact that renovating would provide significant challenges with the infrastructure and mandatory building codes, recommending a replacement school for SJE to be included in the 2018 Bond at a budget of $26,264,000.
The new campus, which would most likely be built on district-owned property close to SJE, would be approximately 98,000 square feet and have a capacity of 800 students, nearly 300 more than the current school. No funding, however, is available without community approval of the 2018 Bond May 5, 2018.
Early voting begins April 23 at various locations, and the election will be May 5 at the Goose Creek CISD Administration Building. For more information about voting locations and times, please visit www.gccisd.net.
Photos by Carrie Pryor-Newman
Bond Proposal Includes Renovations, Improvements to Stallworth Stadium
By Beth Dombrowa
While on the campaign trail on Oct. 29, 1976, President Gerald Ford stopped by Stallworth Stadium to watch a little GCCISD football. He stayed at the game long enough to see the Robert E. Lee Ganders take a 21-point lead over the Aldine-McArthur Generals, a game that eventually ended 34-0.
Since its opening in 1969, Stallworth Stadium has been a source of pride for the community it serves. Seating more than 16,500, it remains the fifth largest non-collegiate stadium in the state. It served for years as the site for the Bay Area Relay for Life. More recently, the stadium was sold out in September 2016 for the first time in years when REL and RSS played their 50th contest, drawing crowds of alumni and fans, including many players from the first game, who filled the stands to cheer for their team.
As it approaches its own 50th anniversary, Stallworth Stadium is in need of major upgrades. After hearing about the issues, the Citizens Facilities Planning Committee, which was charged with putting together the bond package before it went to the Board of Trustees for a vote, recommended earmarking funds to renovate and update the iconic stadium to bring it up to the same standard as neighboring district stadiums. Previous bonds have not included funding for the major renovations needed at Stallworth.
Renovations to Stallworth outlined in the bond proposal include paving the home and visitor sides of the stadium, getting rid of the potholes fans have complained about for years. The project would include installing lighting in the stadium parking lot; today, there is no parking lot lighting, an issue for fans and students who often leave the stadium late at night. Further, the proposal includes adding additional security hardware and intrusion alarms, as well as fencing.
If voters approve the bond, concession stands on both sides of the stadium would be upgraded to include new flooring, new equipment, new ceilings, plumbing and fixture upgrades, and a fresh coat of paint to better provide and enhance the fan experience for all visitors. After five decades of being exposed to the elements, equipment is rusted. It also needs to be brought into compliance with the latest health regulations, including more hot and cold equipment for food safety.
Another project that has been discussed for years and is slated to take place at Stallworth Stadium, is the construction of an athletic field house. Adding the field house to this site will provide a permanent home for the District’s Athletic Department administration office, upgraded locker rooms for athletes and referees, training rooms, coach’s offices, and meeting rooms.
Early voting in the 2018 bond election starts April 23 and election day is May 5.
Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman
Citizens Bond Advisory Committee Wraps Up Successful Bond Oversight
By Beth Dombrowa
As the 2013 bond projects come to a close, so does the work of the Citizens Bond Advisory Committee (CBAC). This all-volunteer committee assembled shortly after the last bond passed in May 2013, and has been meeting regularly to oversee the many projects included in the $267 million bond. The success of the 2013 bond, which will end on time and at about $5 million under budget, is, in part, due to the diligent oversight of the CBAC.
White establishing a CBAC is not a requirement, Goose Creek CISD has made it a practice to ask a group of local citizens to partner with district administration, as well as the bond management company, to monitor the progress of all bond projects to ensure they align with voter expectations. At monthly meetings, CBAC members discuss the status of projects, recommend changes and endorse projects plans before they go to the Board of Trustees for approval.
The current CBAC members were appointed to the committee in various ways. Some were asked by members of the Board of Trustees, others were nominated by administrators within the district. Although some CBAC members, over time, decided they could not commit to the time, the committee will close out with more than 15 active members. The CBAC has remained engaged during the design and construction phase of multiple aspects of bond projects and expenditures throughout the five-year bond cycle.
“The CBAC has devoted their time and energy over the last five years not because they like attending meetings, but because they believe in the mission of GCCISD and want our students to be educated in safe, secure environments where learning is the top priority,” said Deputy Superintendent of Operations Anthony Price. “They also understand that providing an education for more than 23,000 students involves additional support and infrastructure, such as the transportation center that was part of the last bond.”
If voters approve the 2018 bond at the May election, the district will again establish a CBAC to ensure the scope, cost, and timeline of each bond project.
Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman
Angelina Reyes, receptionist at Goose Creek Memorial High School, starts her day by scanning her employee I.D. badge to enter the building. The scanners were installed as safety and security features as a result of the 2013 Bond.
Bond 2018 Enhances Safety and Security
By: Susan Passmore
With voter approval May 5, the 2018 Goose Creek CISD Bond referendum would add to the numerous safety and security measures that were accomplished as part of the 2013 Bond.
Proposition Two of the successful $267.54 million bond proposal in 2013 provided for safety and security improvements on each campus. These items, recommended by the Facilities Planning Committee after reviewing the facility condition assessment conducted by VLK Architects and Jacobs and receiving input from campus administrators, included adding vestibules at school front entries which did not have one, security cameras, exterior lockable card access, interior room locks and perimeter fencing with drive-thru control.
Proposition One of the 2018 Bond includes additional safety and security features recommended by the Citizens Facilities Planning Committee, such as adding hardware and a call box at the existing security vestibules at Goose Creek Memorial High School, Highlands Junior School, Horace Mann Junior School and the elementary campuses of Crockett, Carver, Lamar, Travis and Victoria Walker. All other campus vestibules were renovated with the 2013 Bond. In addition, the Intrusion Alarm Installation Project provides for installation of additional card readers at exterior doors and intrusion sensors. This would complete all planned security measures across the district.
Another safety and security item in Proposition One is fencing along the perimeter of (this is happening with 2013 bond funds after all) Stuart Career Tech High School. This would feature ornamental fencing and an electric gate at the front of the campus and chain link fencing at the sides and back of the site. Fencing and gates at other campuses were addressed with the 2013 Bond. Additionally, safety upgrades via technology infrastructure are included in the bond. These items would include replacing the district telephone system and replacing safety and security systems, such as cameras.
The Stallworth Stadium Renovation Project, also part of Proposition One, would address the unpaved and poorly-lit parking lot at Stallworth Stadium as well as provide a new intrusion alarm system for the press box.
The $437.4 million bond to be taken to voters includes, among other projects in Proposition One, a new junior school, two new elementary schools, a replacement campus for San Jacinto Elementary and a center for the Special Education Department and the Curriculum and Instruction Department. Proposition Two provides for a new multi-purpose center to accommodate district events, such as graduation, staff training, student instruction and state/regional/area competitions and tournaments.
Early voting begins April 23. Election Day is May 5 at the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District Administration Building at 4544 Interstate 10 East, Baytown, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information, visit the website at http://www.gccisd.net/page/Bond18.
Bond Proposal Includes Projects to Benefit Students Involved in Extracurricular Activities
By Beth Dombrowa
Studies have shown that extracurricular activities help students achieve better academically, learn valuable social and coping skills, better manage their time and build self esteem. Projects included in the 2018 bond proposal address many needs within the district to support extracurricular programs available to students. If voters approve the bond, these are some of the projects and programs that will be included:
Built in 1958, the auditorium at Robert E. Lee High School was constructed as a Broadway production theater. Over the decades, the auditorium has been a source of pride for the campus, alumni and the community, who have attended productions such as “Hello, Dolly”, “Fiddler On The Roof” and “The Wizard of Oz” in the 18,000-square-foot theater. In recent years, after decades of use, the auditorium is badly in need of repairs due to wear and tear. Proposition 1 includes funding for auditorium repairs and restoration, including new flooring, seating, ceiling, roof, acoustic materials, stage production equipment, stage lighting, ADA upgrades and minor exterior work.
Athletic Field Lighting
All systems and components have a life span and at or near the end of their life cycle, they must be replaced. The good news is that newer-technology replacement parts can be less expensive to operate and have a longer life span. Football, baseball and softball fields at Goose Creek Memorial High School, Robert E. Lee High School and Sterling High School are in need of new lighting. The current lighting packages are energy consuming, high intensity fixtures. If Proposition 1 of the 2018 bond proposal gets voter approval, the lighting at those fields will be replaced with LED light fixtures that consume less energy and require less maintenance.
Stallworth Stadium/Athletic Field House
The fifth largest stadium in Texas, Stallworth Stadium has seen better days. In fact, the 16,875-seat stadium needs an estimated $7.5 million worth of work. The proposed bond package includes paving the parking lot and adding LED lighting as an additional security feature. The concession stands on both home and visitors sides of the stadium are in need of upgrades, as are exterior doors. Adding an athletic field house will provide upgraded locker rooms and office space. The restrooms at Stallworth are similar to what they were in 1969 when Stallworth was built, so updated restrooms are also included in the proposal.
Fine Arts Programs and Equipment
Every student in GCCISD experiences a fine arts program at some point in their lives, and almost 40 percent of the student population stays enrolled in fine arts throughout high school. Instruments and equipment for fine arts programs are expensive; a single tuba can cost as much as $9,000. The district provides instruments for many students who are unable to afford them. The bond proposal includes funding for every level of fine arts within the district, providing supplies for elementary music classes, instruments for junior and high school-level band and orchestra students, risers for choirs and theatrical lighting for junior and high school auditoriums.
Junior School Running Tracks
Goose Creek CISD is one of very few school districts in the area that don’t currently have running tracks at its junior high schools. Proposition 1 of the bond proposal includes adding four-lane tracks at each of the GCCISD junior schools (including junior school number six, which will be built if the voters pass the bond.) Tracks are vital to the physical education curriculum as well as student growth. The tracks will also be open to the public for community use.
Robotics Practice Arena
Interest in the robotics programs has skyrocketed in the past few years, possibly attributed to the success of Team Blarglefish, which won sixth in the world competition two years ago. An elective open to all junior and high school students, robotics is also an important component of the STEM Academy housed at Lee High School. Currently, students who compete on the robotics team don’t have adequate space to practice or store the robot they build for competition every January. If Proposition 1 passes, students will have a full-scale, 6,000 –square-foot course to practice on, as well as associated classrooms, making the team more competitive and giving more students an opportunity to explore the many aspects of robotics competition.
“Contrary to other sports, students in robotics value collaboration with their competitors. This is an important ethic that helps push technological solutions for our world,” said Keith Cummings, who oversees the robotics program in GCCISD. “Our team is similar to a business. Students fit into the organization in various roles, not knowing everything, they work together to be successful.”
If voters approve the bond proposal, more student athletes and fine arts students will be able to practice their sports or performances when the weather is less than ideal. Adding turf to the high school campus baseball, softball and competition fields will ultimately save the district money on grounds expenses, including seed and fertilizer, as well as paint. The district also won’t have to open Stallworth for practice any longer when field conditions at the high schools are poor due to weather.
These are just a few of the projects or programs included in the overall bond proposal. For more details, visit gccisd.net.
Early voting in the 2018 bond election runs April 23 – May 1 and election date is May 5. For a full list of voting locations, visit gccisd.net.
Elementary #17 and Elementary #18 to address student population growth on the north side of the district are part of Proposition 1 of Goose Creek CISD’s 2018 Bond to be taken to voters May 5, 2018.
Goose Creek CISD's 2018 Bond Includes Major Facility Projects
By: Susan Passmore
New facilities head the list of major construction projects recommended by the Citizens Facilities Planning Committee for inclusion in Goose Creek CISD’s Bond 2018. The committee, along with professional engineers and architects, assessed facilities and considered the results of a demographic study by Population and Survey Analysts, Inc. (PASA). The study projected 8,000 new homes in the area over the next decade, increasing Goose Creek CISD’s student population by 3,000 students.
The bond package, approved by the board of trustees to present to voters May 5, 2018, totals $437,405,000. Proposition 1, in the amount of $376,905,000 contains a new junior school, two elementary schools and a replacement campus for San Jacinto Elementary. Other major construction projects include a building for the Special Education Department and the Curriculum and Instruction Department, as well as Phase 2 and 2A of Stuart Career Tech High School (SCTHS), a practice arena for Robotics, a construction lab and front entry enhancement at Ross S. Sterling High School, Career and Technical Education (CTE) Lab renovation at two high schools, Life Skills Lab renovations, running tracks at junior schools, auditorium renovation at Robert E. Lee High School and existing building renovations based on the district’s needs.
Junior School #6 will address the growth on the north side of the district. Budgeted at $54,056,087, the 180,000-square-foot campus would have a capacity of 1,200 students to accommodate the projected junior school student growth of 800 over the next decade.
Elementary #17 and Elementary #18 also would allow the district to accommodate student population growth on the north side of the district, projected at 1,400 students by 2027. Plans are to construct Elementary #17, at a budget of $24, 696,000, on district-owned property north of Interstate 10. Elementary #18, budgeted at 28,400,000, is planned for south of Interstate 10 with completion in the final year of the bond. Both campuses would be approximately 98,000 square feet and would house 800 students.
Due to renovations to San Jacinto Mall, the Special Education Department, currently housed there, requires offices for staff as does the Curriculum and Instruction Department, which has outgrown available space at the Administration Building. The proposed 36,000-square-foot building at a budget of $10,750,000 would accommodate staff for both departments.
Stuart Career Tech High School Phase 2 would expand the remaining half of SCTHS, finishing out classrooms, upgrading restrooms to meet the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Code and replacing the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) system. This project would increase the capacity from 400 to 650 students. Phase 2A, at a budget of $22,000,000, would provide a two-level 45,000-square-foot building to host the Communications (Audio Video) Academy as well as the Information Technology Academy, increasing student capacity from 650 to 900 students. SCTHS opened in fall 2017 with freshman students only, but each year a class will be added.
The SCTHS Phase 2 project directly affects another proposed bond project, the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Lab renovation project at Sterling and Lee high schools. Budgeted at $810,000, the project would provide necessary renovations to allow the programs now at the Stuart Career Center to relocate to those schools.
Another item recommended for Proposition 1 is the Life Skills Lab Renovation Project, which involves expanding the footprint and renovating existing Life Skills Labs districtwide to meet the program’s needs. At a budget of $2,052,000, the project would give students and staff the additional room they need and ensure they have a 21st Century learning environment.
An athletic field house at Stallworth Stadium for use by district athletic teams is on the list of 2018 Bond projects. This 40,000-square-foot facility would provide locker rooms, training rooms, coaches’ offices, administration offices and meeting rooms.
A new Construction Lab at Sterling High School is in the bond referendum up for consideration by voters. At a budget of $1,100,000, the facility would replace the undersized and outdated facility with a 5,000 square foot metal building and new teaching equipment. The larger space would give Construction Technology students space to construct their projects, and updated equipment would give them the tools they need to earn NCCER credentials.
Also on the list of major construction projects is front entry enhancement of Sterling High School. This project is designed to improve the appearance of the front entry by adding a 2,000-square-foot grand foyer to assist with crowd control and security access.
Successful Robotics teams in GCCISD have created the need for a Robotics Practice Arena, another project included in the 2018 Bond. Budgeted at $1,800,000, the proposed arena would provide a 6,000- square-foot practice arena with a full-scale robotics course and classrooms.
Truly a neighborhood school, the San Jacinto Elementary campus sits on slightly more than two acres, rather than the 15 acres recommended by the state for an elementary school. Renovation would be costly and would not address many of the issues, so a replacement campus on district-owned land near its current location has been proposed. Besides providing a 21st Century learning environment, with a larger library and classrooms, this bond project would allow for adequate staff parking, a drop-off lane, a bus lane and a service lane as well as address ADA issues. The 98,000-square-foot campus, at a budget of $26,264,000, would serve 800 students.
The final major construction project in Proposition 1 is the installation of four-lane tracks at all junior schools to give students a level, smooth area for running. It also would allow them to experience the competitive aspect of running before they enter the high school sports programs. Most districts in this area have junior school tracks.
Proposition 2, totaling $60,500,000, will be considered separately from Proposition 1 by voters. This project would provide a new multi-purpose center with a sports arena to accommodate district events, such as graduation, staff training, student instruction and state/regional/area competitions and tournaments.
Early voting is available at several locations, or voters may come to the Goose Creek CISD Administration Building, 4544 Interstate 10 East, Baytown on Election Day, May 5, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For a complete list of early voting locations, visit gccisd.net.
Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman
With the completion of the Agriscience Building, a 2013 bond project, more students like Sterling’s Zakary Medina will have a home for their animals. Zakary will soon be showing his steer, Big Red, at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman.
New Agriscience Center Brings Successful 2013 Bond Closer To An End
By Beth Dombrowa
The Spring opening of the new Agriscience Center will mark one step closer to the end of Goose Creek CISD’s 2013 bond package, which is expected to be completed on schedule and approximately $5 million under budget. The new facility, approved by the voters in 2013, will allow more GCCISD high school students to participate in agriculture-related programs, where they learn leadership skills and further develop their interest in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems.
At 6,800 square feet and consisting of just 36 small animal and five large animal pens, the previous Agriscience Facility was not adequate to support current growth and expansion.
“Students in our facility have long expressed interest in the wide variety of careers available in the agriscience field,” said GCCISD Career and Technical Education Director Renea Dillon. “The new center will provide more space for students to house their animals, as well as a large practice arena and classroom space. The site also will allow for future expansion, which is great because all indications point to a growing agriscience program in our district.”
The new Agriscience Center is located at Wallisville and John Martin Road, the same site as the older facility. Rather than constructing the facility in another location, the district is making use of the existing barn by converting it into classrooms and support space.
“That’s a big plus for taxpayers because we didn’t have to acquire any additional land, and we were able to take advantage of the old structure by incorporating it into the design of the new facility,” said Dillon.
The site will house four new structures, including a 4,442-square-foot hog barn with 48 pens, a 2,391 square foot sheep and goat barn with 32 pens, a 3,662-square foot cattle barn with 12 pens, and a 10,227 square foot practice arena structure with bleachers, locker rooms, storage rooms and support spaces. Each of the new barns include larger wash and grooming areas and feed and tack storage rooms, and the cattle barn includes turn out space for the large animals.
The site is designed to accommodate future expansion of an additional 16 hog pens, 16 sheep/goat pens and 12 cattle pens without having to add site utilities or additional storm drainage. Other improvements to the site include an enhanced main entrance that will allow trailers and buses to enter the site completely without having to block a portion of John Martin Road; improved circulation and parking for trucks and trailers; expanded visitor parking; and a fenced animal exercise area. All of the new construction is contained on the north half of the site, leaving approximately eight acres of undeveloped land for future expansion and grazing.
Agriculture Science is a pathway under the Business and Industry Endorsement. Students who select this pathway take hands-on courses in one of four programs of study: plant science and floral design; animal science; food technology and processing; equipment design; and fabrication and mechanics.
“Agricultural Science gives students the ability to increase their education of modern agriculture through classroom and lab experiences,” said Kenny Rogers, GCCISD Lead Agriculture teacher. “Combined with the FFA, this extends their knowledge through leadership and career development events, as well as livestock exhibition throughout the state and the nation. We feel that this program produces students with the potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through Agricultural Education.”
The spring semester is going full steam ahead. It's hard to believe that we will soon be taking a week-long (and well-deserved) break. Hang in there: Spring Break is just around the corner.
As you may be aware, the GCCISD Board of Trustees has called for a bond election on Saturday, May 5. Early voting runs Monday, April 23 - Tuesday, May 1. You can access voting times and locations on our district website at gccisd.net.
With voter approval, the district plans to complete much-needed projects, including a new junior school, two new elementary schools and an elementary school replacement, a home for our special education department, new school buses and more. The District also plans to invest in our extracurricular programs with a robotics practice arena, replace musical instruments and theater lighting for our students in our fine arts programs, add new turf to practice fields and build an athletic field house. Further, if voters choose to support the bond the district plans to upgrade technology throughout the district to enhance learning opportunities for students at all levels, and make significant repairs to district infrastructure that has reached the end of its life cycle.
There are a number of projects in the bond proposal. The majority of these projects were assessed, debated and decided on by a committee of citizen volunteers who were very deliberate in understanding the district needs and prioritizing the projects. I want to thank these community volunteers who served on our Citizens Facilities Planning Committee for their hard work in evaluating the needs of the students and staff of GCCISD with fidelity. The committee included community members, parents and industry representatives, and they gave generously of their time.
After hearing the Committee's recommendations, the Board agreed with most of the scope of the proposal, and made some additional adjustments based on current and projected student needs, as well as predicted student growth in the coming years.
At a meeting on Feb. 13, the Board of Trustees called for a bond election in the amount of $437,405,000. Proposition 1, totaling $376,905,000, includes the new elementary and junior schools, a building for our special education and curriculum and instruction departments, a practice facility for our robotics students, the second phase of the Stuart Career Tech High School, an athletic field house at Stallworth, new band equipment and theatrical lighting systems, upgrades to the natatorium, the replacement of San Jacinto Elementary and more. For a full list of Proposition 1 projects, please visit our website at gccisd.net.
Proposition 2, totaling $60,500,000, would fund a multi-purpose center, which would be used for various district-wide activities; holding graduation and convocation; hosting sports, dance, cheer and robotics tournaments; and holding staff development, award ceremonies and prom. There isn't another facility like the proposed multipurpose center anywhere in our immediate area, and as the gateway to Houston from the East, it's projected that we could potentially rent the facility on a regular basis to pay down the project debt.
The district is in the process of developing presentations and materials about the bond proposal that will help voters make an informed decision regarding the election. These materials will be available soon. I hope that you'll take time to learn about and understand the projects included in the bond election and how they may impact student learning in GCCISD.
We're looking forward to the remainder of the spring semester. It's going to go fast, but our focus will remain on engaging, inspiring and empowering the students of GCCISD in our collective effort to offer the best quality education that the children of our community so deserve.
El semestre de primavera está pasando muy rápido. Es difícil creer que pronto tomaremos un descanso (merecido) de una semana. Tenga paciencia: Spring Break está a la vuelta de la esquina.
Como sabrá, la Mesa Directiva de GCCISD ha pedido una elección de bonos escolares el sábado 5 de mayo. La votación anticipada se realizará del lunes 23 de abril al martes 1 de mayo. Puede acceder a los horarios y lugares de votación en nuestra página web del distrito en gccisd.net.
Con la aprobación de los votantes, el distrito planea completar proyectos muy necesarios, que incluyen una nueva secundaria, dos nuevas primarias y un reemplazo de una primaria, un lugar para nuestro departamento de educación especial, nuevos autobuses escolares y más. El Distrito también planea invertir en nuestros programas extracurriculares con un lugar de práctica para el programa de robótica, reemplazar instrumentos musicales y la iluminación del teatro para estudiantes en nuestros programas de bellas artes, nuevo césped para campos de practica y construir un salón de campo deportivo. Además, si los votantes eligen apoyar el bono escolar, el distrito planea actualizar la tecnología en todo el distrito para mejorar las oportunidades de aprendizaje para los estudiantes en todos los niveles y también realizará reparaciones significativas a la infraestructura de edificios del distrito que han llegado al final de su ciclo de vida estructural.
Hay una serie de proyectos en la propuesta del bono escolar. La mayoría de estos proyectos fueron evaluados, debatidos y decididos por un comité de ciudadanos voluntarios que estuvieron conscientes de las necesidades del distrito y priorizar los proyectos. Quiero agradecer a estos voluntarios de la comunidad que apoyaron en nuestro Comité de Ciudadanos para la Planificación de Instalaciones por su arduo trabajo en la evaluación de las necesidades de los estudiantes y el personal de GCCISD con fidelidad. El comité incluyó miembros de la comunidad, padres y representantes de la industria, y dieron generosamente de su tiempo.
Después de escuchar las recomendaciones del Comité, la Mesa Directiva estuvo de acuerdo con la mayor parte de la propuesta, e hizo algunos ajustes adicionales basados en las necesidades actuales y proyectadas de los estudiantes, así como en el crecimiento pronosticado de estudiantes en los próximos años.
En una reunión del 13 de febrero, la Mesa Directiva convocó a una elección de bonos escolares por un monto de $437,405,000. La Proposición 1, por un total de $376,905,000, incluye las nuevas escuelas primarias y secundarias, un edificio para nuestros departamentos de educación especial y currículo e instrucción, un centro de práctica para nuestros estudiantes de robótica, la segunda fase de la Preparatoria Técnica Stuart Career, una casa de campo atlética en el estadio Stallworth, nuevos equipos de banda y sistemas de iluminación teatral, mejoras al natatorio, el reemplazo de la Primaria San Jacinto y más. Para obtener una lista completa de los proyectos de la Propuesta 1, visite la página web del distrito en gccisd.net
La Proposición 2, por un total de $ 60,500,000, financiaría un centro de multipropósitos, que se usaría para diversas actividades en todo el distrito; celebración de graduaciones y convocatorias; celebración de torneos de deportes, baile, porristas y robótica; y de desarrollo de personal, ceremonias de premiación y las fiestas de fiestas del grado 12. No hay otra instalación cerca con un centro de multipropósito propuesto en ninguna parte de nuestra área, y ni a la entrada a Houston desde el este, se proyecta que podríamos alquilar la instalación de manera regular para pagar la deuda del proyecto.
El distrito está en proceso de desarrollar presentaciones y materiales acerca la propuesta del bono escolar que ayudará a los votantes a tomar una decisión informada en las elecciones. Estos materiales estarán disponibles pronto. Espero que tome tiempo para conocer y comprender los proyectos incluidos en la elección del bono escolar y cómo pueden afectar el aprendizaje de los estudiantes en GCCISD.
Estamos esperando el resto del semestre de primavera. Se va rápido, pero nuestro enfoque seguirá siendo involucrar, inspirar y empoderar a los estudiantes de GCCISD en nuestro esfuerzo colectivo para ofrecer la mejor educación de calidad que los niños de nuestra comunidad se merecen.