Cy-Fair district will delay 10 school openings
Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District officials must once again push back the proposed opening dates for 10 future new schools in the district's 2007 bond program because of financial constraints.
According to the revised schedule, there are no plans to open any new schools – except for the district's 17th middle school – until the 2013-14 school year.
"It is important for our community to know that we are not postponing new school construction because we have over-built," said Pam Wells, Cy-Fair ISD's associate superintendent of facilities, planning and community relations. "We would benefit from moving forward with some of the construction plans in place."
As a result of the district's inequitable funding from the state, district officials are again recommending the delay of new school openings, Wells said.
Wells said during Cy-Fair ISD's 2007 bond steering committee's planning process, the committee recommended opening dates for all proposed school construction projects in that bond program.
In October 2009, the district delayed the openings of these schools from the original opening dates recommended by the bond committee.
"Although in the report we identified new proposed opening dates for the remaining new schools that were a part of the 2007 bond election, these are proposed and we may have to move them back even further if the school finance crisis is not addressed by the Legislature," Wells said.
Middle School #17 – or newly-named Dr. Cheryl Corbett Salyards Middle School – is under construction on Fairfield Place Drive in the Fairfield master-planned community, and is on schedule to open in fall 2011, Wells said.
Wells said the six remaining elementary schools designated in the 2007 bond referendum have been postponed. Elementary #53 in the Bridgeland community, Elementary #54 on a multi-school site on FM 529, and Elementary #55 on a future site west of Barker Cypress Road were originally scheduled to open in 2010-11, but have been respectively delayed until 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16. Elementary #56, Elementary #57, and Elementary #58, all planned to be built on sites located west of Barker Cypress, were scheduled to open in 2011-12, but have been respectively delayed until 2015-16, 2017-18, and 2017-18.
Two additional middle school projects were delayed: Middle School #18 in the Towne Lake community, and Middle School #19 on Cy-Fair ISD's multi-school site on FM 529 were originally scheduled to respectively open in 2010-11 and 2011-12, but have been postponed to 2014-15 and 2015-16. Two high school projects have also been delayed: High School #11 on the district's multi-school site on FM 529, and High School #12 on a site located west of Barker Cypress were scheduled to open in 2011-12, but have been postponed to 2015-16 and 2018-19.
David Anthony, Cy-Fair superintendent, said the cost of opening new schools – and ongoing annual operational costs – would prove stressful on the district's budget under the current state funding.
It costs about $5 million to open a new high school, $3 million for a new middle school and $2 million for a new elementary school. Wells said district officials would reassess the report on proposed school delay openings after reviewing actions taken during the 2011 legislative session.
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