AUSTIN - Austin ISD's Board of Trustees voted to approve their Facilities Master Plan after a 9-hour meeting that extended into the early hours of Tuesday.
Before the 6-3 vote, the board discussed 20 amendments members proposed during the last week of review. The $4.6 billion plan will essentially rehabilitate all campuses, and paves the way for a bond package that will likely go to voters in November.
Under the plan, Read Pre-Kindergarten School and the Alternative Learning Center will be re-purposed. This means they will be closed and may be used as another district building.
The plan also identifies five elementary schools with low enrollment numbers. Those schools are Sanchez, Brooke, Joslin, Dawson and Norman elementary schools. If those schools do not boost enrollment numbers, they could consolidate with nearby campuses.
However, the district stresses to parents and the community that this plan is a blueprint for the district and will be revisited and possibly revised every two years.
"The facilities master plan is a living document,” said Matt Mitchell, spokesperson for Austin ISD. “Every two years we go back to re-visit it in the form of the Facility and Bond Planning Committee – our committee of community volunteers -- go back and look at all that information again to see what is still accurate, what needs revising."
Those who voted against the plan voiced concerns about the many amendments that came up.
“I still have some overall concerns and at the end of the day, I'm going to hold the superintendent accountable to what we approved tonight and the expectations,” said District 6 Trustee Paul Saldaña.
“From my perspective there are some things in this proposal that I, in good conscious, just cannot support,” said District 1 Trustee Edmund T. Gordon.
The master plan was created by the Facilities and Bond Planning Advisory Committee or FABPAC, a group of 18 community members who started on the plan more than a year ago.
TAP HERE to learn more about the Facilities Master Plan.
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