By Kathi Bliss
Moving forward with preparations for the new elementary school promised in the sweeping bond package approved by voters in May, the Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees has begun eyeing potential locations for that school to be located.
Dominating the discussion on Monday night, the location of the new school is clearly one of the foremost things on the mind of all Trustees and administration, and the growth patterns within the community will play a large role in that discussion.
According to Project Manager Robert Gadbois, the bulk of the population growth within LISD comes from the area north of Lockhart proper, bordered by Highway 21, Highway 183 and FM 672. More than 60 percent of the new students in the last four years, he said, have enrolled from that area, and another subdivision is expected in the near future that will bring an additional 720 households or more.
“You could very easily fill up a school in that area,” he said. “And that would ease pressure on the five elementary schools in town.” On average, he said, twenty percent of the district’s population lives within the target location.
Although Gadbois made no promises or proposals, it appeared the discussion is geared toward acquiring property through either a purchase or an agreement with a developer in the area.
Board Vice President Brenda Spillmann expressed concern that the proposed 130 Environmental Park landfill is located near the area. Gadbois, however, said he was certain that the development team was not looking at property near the proposed landfill site.
“I want to make sure that we’re asking all of the questions we need to ask, even the hard questions,” Spillmann said with regard to the development. “I don’t want to put our kids in an area that their health or their well-being will be in danger by being too close to that facility.”
Empowered by the Board to move forward with discussions about property acquisition, Gadbois said he expects to bring forward proposals from brokers and property owners during the next regular meeting.
In other business, the Trustees spent nearly three hours in executive session, discussing a lawsuit with their attorneys.
Although they did not announce what action they intend to take in the lawsuit, they voted 6-1 to proceed with the litigation as they had been advised. Trustee Juan Alvarez voted against the measure.
In brief news:
The Board discussed and voted to purchase two buses for the upcoming school year. In a related discussion, they were invited to ride a bus with students on the first day of school, and discussed whether special-needs buses or utility vehicles such as Suburbans were more appropriate for particular trips.
They recognized former Bluebonnet Elementary School principal Barbara Bernal, who announced her retirement from LISD last month.
The Trustees approved the creation of a position of a media liaison for the Superintendent’s office, at the request of Superintendent Rudy Trevino. The position, he said, will not receive administrator pay, but will be created to help him with messaging and media contact, as well as website maintenance.
The Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees routinely meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Conference Center at Lockhart High School. The meetings are open to the public and are webcast and available for later viewing at www.lockhartisd.org.