Aboard three buses, the Ector County Bond Advisory Committee took a tour of five facilities to get an idea of the condition of some of Ector County Independent School District’s campuses.
Sites included Permian High School auditorium, Crockett Middle School, Odessa High School, Frost Technical Education Center and Jordan Elementary School.
The committee started meeting in April to discuss needs for a proposed tax ratification election and bond issue. $291,172,291 bond and tax proposals were rejected by voters in November 2017.
Participants also walked the route from the Whitaker Building at OHS to the main building, which can make students late to class.
Chief Operations Officer David Morris started off in the Permian auditorium where he said the stage flooring, theater flooring, curtains, sound system and chairs need replacing.
Head Choir Director Aaron Hawley said the chairs were purchased used, the floors have to be re-sloped because when you’re in a wheelchair you go faster as you go forward.
He added that a recent hail storm damaged the sound and lighting system and the stage curtain is rotting. Hawley said the theater teacher sews it back together and there are holes on the floor of the stage.
Executive Director of Fine Arts Mark Lyon said the fine arts often rents facilities for performances and brings in people to provide sound, both of which cost money.
Morris said roofs on the PHS property also need replacing, which would cost $6 million to $6.5 million. He added that ECISD doesn’t have the money to meet the deductible.
At the Frost building, Executive Director of Career and Counseling Services Carla Byrne said there are safety and security concerns at the complex and because of space she will have to turn away 50 of next year’s prospective welding students.
In the last six years, Byrne said there was a 93 percent increase in enrollment in career and technical education. CTE is offered district wide and some courses are held at Odessa College.
But if there was more space, more courses in high-demand fields could be made available, she said.
She added that space has had to be cobbled together and the greenhouse facilities are in disrepair. Byrne said she would like all the agriculture facilities moved out the facility on West Dunn Street. This would free up more space at Frost.
Jordan Elementary School has had 10 or more portable classrooms on its property at any given time, Executive Director of District Operations Patrick Young said.
The district has 135 portables and has ordered six more double-wides, two of which will go to the Alternative Education Center, Young said. He added that they are not energy efficient.
Darrell Pearson, a partner with PBK, an architectural and engineering firm, said portables tax food service, restrooms, safety and security. PBK was the firm hired last year to evaluate district facilities for the proposed 2017 bond.
Two bond committee members said they found the tour beneficial. Terrance Collins Williams was not on the last bond advisory committee.
“Actually, I think the tour is the most eye-opening thing that I’ve done. To be able to actually go and see the facilities, have it explained, the importance … it brought it from an abstract issue to a concrete one,” Williams said. “Now that I see what my nephews, cousins, my own children are going through day in and day out with facilities, much less worrying about educating themselves. Now it makes it just that much more important. This is something that is totally needed and it’s needed urgently.”
Grayson Hankins was on the previous bond advisory committee.
Hankins said he liked that the group spent more time at each location than last time and it was “eye opening” to see what is done at the CTE building.
“The same problems are still there. They haven’t gone away. For me, I think it was just good to see that I think we’re going to have to hone in on what we want to accomplish. Obviously, it would be nice if we could replace every building but that’s just not going to be feasible,” Hankins said.
Crockett Middle School, 2301 N. Conover
- Date constructed: 1961.
- Square feet: 123,856.
- Sits on: 18.74 acres.
- Capacity: 1,101.
- Students served: 1,226.
- Portable classrooms: Nine.
- Deficiencies: Not enough space for current enrollment; age of the building, electrical and plumbing.
Frost Technical Center, 104 S. Grandview
- Date constructed: 1955. It was a bread factory for many years. ECISD purchased it in 1998.
- Square feet: 30,842.
- Sits on: 3.67 acres.
- Students served: Cumulatively, 850 students a day are served in welding, auto tech, auto collision and repair, horticulture and construction technology.
- Portable classrooms: Two.
- Facility deficiencies: Age of the building, electrical and plumbing; lack of classroom space to grow and expand vocational programs.
Jordan Elementary School, 9400 Rainbow Drive
- Date Constructed: 1989.
- Square feet: 68,194.
- Sits on: 11.5 acres.
- Capacity: 715 students.
- Students served: 787.
- Portable classrooms: Eight.
- 2001 Bond: Classroom additions.
- Facility deficiencies: Insufficient space for growing population.
Odessa High School, 1301 N. Dotsy
- Date Constructed: 1945.
- Square feet: 347,633.
- Sits on: 34.61 acres.
- Capacity: 3,292.
- Students served: 3,546.
- Portable classrooms: Seven.
- 2001 Bond: Library, classroom additions, cafeteria/kitchen expansion.
- 2012 Bond: Two-story academic wing; athletic locker rooms and gym; cafeteria/kitchen expansion; performing arts center.
- Facility deficiencies: Lack of space, age of the building, electrical and plumbing.
Permian High School, 1800 E. 42nd St.
- Date constructed: 1957.
- Square feet: 367,497.
- Sits on: 46.21 acres.
- Capacity: 3,200.
- Students served: 3,543.
- Portable classrooms: 10.
- 2012 Bond: Classroom additions; fine arts addition; gym addition; new tennis courts; locker room addition; cafeteria/kitchen expansion.
- Facility deficiencies: Auditorium seating capacity, 1,308; stage flooring, auditorium flooring, seating, lighting, painting, stage curtains and sound system are needed.