Como-Pickton trustees taking a long-range look at construction; enrollment could grow to 1,050 in 10 years
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Sept. 20, 2006 -- Trustees at Como-Pickton Consolidated Independent School District are making broad, long-range construction plans to meet anticipated enrollment growth over the next two decades.

The plan presented by Alan Roberts of Eubanks, Harris, Roberts and Craig Architects Inc. at the most recent school board meeting outlined recommendations for a 20-year plan of expansion, renovation and improvements to accommodate anticipated growth trends and facilities needs.

The matter has been discussed but is still in the preliminary stages, and as of the last board meeting no figures had been presented as to cost projections to upgrade aging classrooms and buildings well past their intended life span. The school board will have to make earnest decision regarding those issues in future board meetings.

The recommendations come as the district anticipates a signficant increase in enrollment over the next two decades.

If the district continues to enroll 20 additional students per year, enrollment would increase from the current 850 students up to 1,050 students in 10 years. That includes 525 elementary students, 236 in junior high and 289 in high school. Enrollment is anticipated to reach 1,300 students within 20 years, including 650 in elementary, 293 in junior high, and the rest in high school.

The district is eying restoring current facilities where possible and replacing other facilities which have far exceeded their life expectancies with buildings "of the same quality" or better, according to Bryan Neal, C-P CISD superintendent.

The plan devised for school expansions calls for significant construction projects over the next seven years, beginning in 2007 and concluding in 2013, then upgrading or replacing facilities again in 2026 when the construction plan hits the 20-year mark, according to the "Como-Pickton Master Plan Sequence" presented by the architects on Sept. 12.


Year 1 -- 2007

In 2007, the plan calls for the purchase of 5.7 acres off of CR 2333 west of the school for a new baseball field, then using existing fencing and lights when building a new field, which would also incorporate a road and 25 additional parking spaces.

Also that first year, the 1,000 square feet of space northwest of the baseball field would be used to build six tennis courts and a building to house restrooms, a concession stand and dressing rooms. A parking lot with 211 spaces would then be constructed between the current baseball field extending west toward CR 2333. At the football stadium, the existing visitors bleachers would be removed and new bleachers large enough to hold 1,000 to 1,200 seats would be installed. Visitor parking and a new road to the parking area would also be built behind the visitors stands on the east side of the stadium.

Year 2 -- 2008

The second year of the proposal, calls for construction of a new high school wing on the old baseball field area, which would accommodate the anticipated 10 years of growth. The new high school wing would have 13 classrooms, three science labs, two computer labs, and other ancillary spaces such as corridors, restrooms, administration area and maintenance areas. The building could be two stories tall or designed in a manner in which a second story could be added if needed at a later time, and could at a future date house a "performance gym."

A new high school and junior high library would be constructed in the space between the existing high school wing and new high school wing. The library would be about 4,500 square feet and accommodate the 625 students anticipated at high school in 20 years. Ultimately the library wing could be attached to the new high school wing and the existing high school wing, which will later be designated for junior high classes.

A new vocational building and wood shop would be built in the maintenance area, along with 20 additional parking spaces. The vacated pre-engineered metal vocational and wood shop buildings would be moved to the maintenance area. With the exception of the band hall, all other existing buildings north of the high school would be demolished.

The second year of construction would also include a new road to loop around the academic area to improve traffic circulation.

Year 3 -- 2009

In 2009, the old high school wing would be remodeled and expanded into a new junior high wing, with 7,816 square feet of classroom space added, and 19,684 square feet remodeled. The new junior high facility could also be built in a manner that a second story could be added should it be needed for future growth. In order to make it ready for the projected enrollment figures in 2016, the building would be designed with 11 classrooms, three science labs and a computer lab. The existing library would be remodeled to include an administration area with a conference room; technology services such as a director's office, technicians' area, equipment room and storage space; and special education services, including an office and rooms for speech and dyslexia services. The new junior high would be connected to the new high school/junior high library and new high school wing though an enclosed link, as well as to the dining area.

Year 4 -- 2010

The existing field house and weight room would be relocated to the maintenance area, and a new 26,000 square foot performance gym built. The athletic facility would include a competition court with home and visitor bleachers, an entry area with concession stand, team changing areas and showers, a training room, coaches' offices, a weight room and athletic storage.

Year 5 -- 2011

The fifth year of construction would focus on the old junior high classrooms and elementary buildings.

The elementary classes would be moved from the existing elementary classrooms to the old junior high classrooms. The old existing elementary areas would be demolished, with the exception of the new elementary wing and library that opened earlier this month. A new elementary wing would be built in the area where the old "add-on" areas were demolished. Once completed the elementary classes would be moved into the new wing.

Year 6-7 -- 2012-13

The only project slated for year six of Phase II construction would be the demolition of any of the old junior high areas still in existence. Then, in the seventh year, 2013, a new auxiliary building and training center would be constructed.

Provided all of those projections go according to plan, the architects indicate the district should be in good shape, facility-wise, until 2026. At that time, the district could determine whether three additional high school and two addition junior high classrooms need to be added to the high school and junior high wings. A detailed breakdown of the architectural firm's recommedations as presented and discussed during the last board meeting can be downloaded from the school's web site http://como.tx.schoolwebpages.com. Under the "District Leadership" menu, the plans are included in a PDF file under the "packet" listing by the Sept. 12, 2006, board meeting listings.

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