• December 9, 2019

Facilities committee organizes - Odessa American: ECISD

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 4:39 pm

Held at Bonham Middle School, about 100 people attended.

Representatives from PBK, an architectural planning and design firm, gave an overview of the six-month process and what will be covered. They encouraged asking questions, expressing concerns and what is important to them.

Lorraine Perryman and Chris Cole are the co-chairs. Several school board members were in attendance and Superintendent Scott Muri gave welcoming remarks.

PBK will refresh the facilities needs plan they completed in 2017. It identified $600 million in needs.

Chief Operating Officer Patrick Young said that could reach $700 million with the update.

The committee will decide what the facilities should look like and what the immediate, intermediate and long-term facility needs of the district are. The board will decide what steps to take with the information.

On his look, listen and learn tour, Muri said one of the concerns that was brought up was facilities. ECISD has picked up about 1,600 students between this year and last, he said.

The committee will review findings of the facilities assessment detailing the physical condition of current facilities.

They will review options for existing, renovated and/or new facilities and their implications for projected enrollment, anticipated instructional programs and technology and related educational specifications, district staff, operations and costs.

The committee also will develop and present to the board of trustees a long-range facilities master plan to serve the district as a baseline for building cycles of four to five years. The plan should include recommendations related to updates, renovations and/or expansions to existing facilities to address maintenance needs and projected enrollment growth, and where appropriate, identify facilities to be replaced or added to the portfolio.

Officials said they may want to tackle those in bite-size chunks.

Muri said this is a community opportunity for students, leaders, teachers and parents to have their voices heard.

Celica Albarez, a junior at Odessa Collegiate Academy early college high school, said she was honored to be part of the committee, even though she’s not in the position of most high school students who are facing overcrowded campuses.

 “But I’m glad to help in any way I can and I have a lot of friends who go to Permian and OHS,” Albarez said.

So far, she said, it seems like the process has been made easy and she can learn from it for the future. 

Darrell Pearson, a partner with PBK, went through the history of improvements in ECISD, including the 2012 bond issue and 2018 tax ratification election.

He noted that the district hired Davis Demographics and PBK visited with them to summarize what their study shows.

With student enrollment increasing each year, ECISD will need to explore options for elementary, middle and high schools.

Pearson said there are elementary schools that are over capacity and some that are underutilized. The middle and high schools struggle with capacity.

Young said there are 150 portable buildings scattered throughout the district where the need is greatest. He said 15 were moved to the middle and high schools this summer.

Odessa, TX

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