BELTON, Texas – A fast-growth school district, Belton ISD is projected to add more than 3,500 students over the next decade, and tonight, the school board continued planning for that growth. School board members approved contracts with two architectural firms to begin designing a new elementary school and a new high school.
WRA Architects, a Dallas-based firm, was selected to design the elementary school. O’Connell Robertson, an Austin-based firm, was selected for the high school.
School board members and administrators have been studying Belton ISD’s growth and facilities needs for the past three years. One conclusion they’ve reached is that the fast growth will place a burden on the district’s existing facilities. Elementary campuses are expected to be at or near capacity in 2019, middle schools in 2020 and high schools in 2021.
“The word is out that our community is a great place to live and raise a family,” board president Randy Pittenger said. “That is bringing more students to our schools. As Belton ISD grows, we will multiply, not divide, our shared sense of community and the opportunities for our students.”
With extensive input from a committee of parents, students, educators and community members, the board has adopted a plan called the “Roadmap to BISD 2025.” The plan proposes building a new elementary school and a new, comprehensive high school. It would also repurpose Bhs9, which is currently part of the high school campus, to serve as a middle school.
“Selecting these architects is an important next step in our long-range planning process,” superintendent Susan Kincannon said. “They will help evaluate potential locations for the new schools, develop the design for each campus and provide preliminary cost estimates for the projects.”
Before workers break ground on any new schools, funding also needs to be approved by voters. The school board tentatively plans to call for a bond election next year to fund the construction of the new campuses.
If approved by voters in 2017, construction of the new elementary school could begin that year with the campus opening in August 2019. Construction on the high school would likely start in 2018 with that campus opening in August 2021.