New school construction or renovations to existing schools is seemingly a never-ending scene around San Antonio. It’s no different with the San Antonio Independent School District. On January 21, students, parents and community members celebrated the end of an improvement project at Cotton Elementary School. Located on Blanco Road north of downtown, the 91-year-old campus received $11.3 million in renovations from the district’s 2010 bond. The January 21 celebratory event, called “Come Grow with Us,” was inspired by the school’s new learning garden. Students and staff served vegetable soup made with a variety of vegetables that students are growing in the campus garden, which itself was recently developed by a local Boy Scout as part of a community project. Additionally, the school choir performed on a new stage in a cafeteria that once had no stage. The new cafeteria includes walls accentuated with colorful tiles, large windows that allow for natural lighting, a new kitchen and a wide-format projection screen and projector to accommodate large meetings. Cotton Elementary now has a two-story addition with newly renovated classrooms, including special education classrooms, two science labs, an art lab, a computer lab, as well as safety, security, electrical, and mechanical upgrades. Lopez Salas Architects designed the improvements at Cotton; the design phase lasted from February 2011 to November 2012. Morganti Casias led the construction phase April 2013 to this past December.
In the North East Independent School District, the 2011 bond is currently funding additions and renovations at 12 campuses: Camelot, Coker and Windcrest elementary schools; Eisenhower, Garner, Nimitz and White middle schools; and Churchill, Johnson, Lee, MacArthur and Reagan high schools. To date, the lone completed major new construction project funded by the NEISD’s 2011 bond is David Lee “Tex” Middle School.
In the Northside Independent School District, construction on five new schools funded by the district’s 2010 bond issue has been completed, in addition to the construction of a new transportation site, and swim and tennis centers. One other new school supported by the 2010 bond, Boldt Elementary, remains under construction. The same NISD bond funded additions to three existing schools, and renovations at 10 other current campuses. Oak Hills Terrace Elementary is currently undergoing renovation work. Meanwhile, NISD officials have begun planning to implement more than $457.5 million in new construction and improvement projects, using funds from a $648 million bond that voters approved last year.
In the Judson Independent School District, construction has been completed on Copperfield Elementary School while development of a high school on Evans Road has just begun. Both projects are funded by the district’s 2013 bond.