Clear Creek ISD needs some $387 million in updates and repairs, a Facility Advisory Committee told the Clear Creek School Board at its January workshop.
Included in its recommendations are a complete rebuild of two aging schools, Clear Lake High and McWhirter Elementary, construction of a second district stadium and a major technology upgrade to increase wireless access to accommodate all the electronic learning devices currently being used or needed in the future.
The 32-member committee also suggested major renovations and additions at Clear Brook High, Clear Creek High, Creekside Intermediate, Green Elementary, Seabrook Intermediate and Clear Lake Intermediate.
Since presenting its suggestions to CCISD trustees, the committee has been holding Town Hall meetings to secure community input and then make modifications needed, if any, at a meeting Feb. 5 and present its modified recommendations to the trustees at their Feb. 11 workshop.
Then, the school board will make a final decision on calling for a bond election at its Feb. 25 meeting. A $387 million bond would push the tax rate to $1.45 and would mean $199 per year in additional taxes for the owner of a $177,000 home, FAC Chairman Trent Martin told trustees.
He said the committee spent many hours inspecting schools across the district and then determining the ones needing immediate attention. The 40-year-old Clear Lake High School, for example, experiences flooding during heavy rains in parts of the school, he said, and some of the classrooms built for 18 students are now holding 30. “Large portions of the building have severe foundation cracking,” he added.
McWhirter, he explained, serves the Webster community from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Besides CCISD classes, it is a Professional Development Lab School and offers ESL, Citizenship and GED classes, a Children’s Literacy program, Parent Education & Support classes. About 51 percent of its students are English language learners. Built in 1954, it has multiple structural issues and drainage problems.
The committee actually started with a list of $600 million in needs but after five months, numerous tours and exhaustive reviews settled on those with the greatest need.
Martin said the committee was not recommending construction of any new schools, despite the fact the district is adding 400-600 students per year, but prefers additions to Green Elementary and Creekside Intermediate to relieve overcrowding.
“While the district has been making do with one stadium for its five high schools, it has not been easy,” he said. “Veterans Memorial Stadium (originally built just for Clear Creek High) is at capacity all the time. It is used Thursday through Saturday during football season. That not only impacts Clear Creek High, which has to deal with all of the extra cars coming in and out, but also the students from other schools who have to come in on a Thursday night, stay late and then have to get up at 5 a.m. to go to school.
Martin outlined the committee’s list of projects:
- Clear Lake High, $98.6 million — complete rebuild.
- McWhirter Elementary, $30.8 million — complete rebuild.
- Seabrook Intermediate, $7.2 million — add 10 classrooms, new stage, plus addition to library, repairs, etc.
- Clear Creek High, $26.4 million –renovation of Carlisle gym, Spring Sports Building, kitchen and snack bar areas, correct foundation problems and addition of third gym. This will complete the rebuild of Clear Creek High, where a section of the 1956 building remains untouched.
- Clear Lake Intermediate, $1.1 million – Renovate locker rooms, labs and refurbish elevator.
- Clear Brook High, $9.7 million – Two-story additions for classroom, administration and library expansion; new entry lobby, cafeteria expansion, kitchen and auditorium renovation, second courtyard, new dressing rooms, addition to coaches office, etc. The school suffered significant foundation failure which caused the building to separate near the main entrance.
- Creekside Intermediate, $2.5 million – Add new classrooms and science facilities. Will save having to build another intermediate school to keep up with area’s growth.
- Greene Elementary, $3.2 million – Add 6 classrooms, restrooms and music room; enlarge cafeteria, renovate clinic, and extend parent dropoff and pickup, and add staff parking.
- Clear Spring High, $3.9 million – Add 3rd gym and additional facilities to accommodate growth.
- 2nd District Stadium, $43 million – Construct 10,000-seat steel stadium next to Central Support Facility on W. Bay Area Boulevard. Scheduling said difficult with five high schools and one stadium.
- Transportation Center, $7.2 million – Add 18,000-gallon propane storage tank and fueling dispensers, canopy, emergency generator and replace 40 aging buses.
- Veterans Stadium, $1.9 million – Replace lighting and existing field turf, add guardrails and ticket booth, repair bleachers, etc.
- Eastside Ag Center, $3.5 million – New Ag Barn to support Creek and Falls.
- Westside Ag Center, $2.8 million – Add pens and storage for Brook, Springs and Lake. New practice and exhibit area.
- Technology, $50 million – To ensure CCISD students have access to 21st century tools by improving the wireless structure and providing tablets for all students 4th grade and up phased in over 4 years so students can access curriculum 24 hours a day. All books would be electronic. Implement WiFi in all schools to support the tablet concept.