Feature Photo: A street view of the Waco High Richfield Performing Arts Center. The school district is proposing the construction of a new campus on the site. Image: Google Streets.
by Art Benavidez
Waco (McLennan County) — The Waco Independent School District trustees approved a $355 million bond election for Nov. 2, at last week’s meeting.
If the bond is passed it would facilitate the construction of four new schools that have been prioritized by the Community Advisory Committee and include a new Waco High School, two new middle schools (G.W. Carver and Tennyson), one new elementary school, Kenrick Elementary School, and renovations to South Waco Elementary.
The new school facilities would be built where the present campuses stand.
On July 27, G.W. Carver Middle School suffered a fire that damaged much of the school’s central building forcing some last-minute changes to the bond package, including an acceleration of the timeline and a reduction in the total bond package that was discussed last month.
The projects would be phased as follows:
- Construction of a new Waco High starting in 2022 with the first phase of the new campus opening in 2024 and a second phase in 2025.
- Construction of a new G.W. Carver Middle starting in 2022 with the campus opening in 2023.
- Construction of a new Tennyson Middle starting in 2023 with the campus opening in 2024.
- Construction of a new Kendrick Elementary starting in 2024 with campus opening in 2025.
- Renovations at South Waco Elementary starting in 2023 and being completed in 2024.
Under a revised timeline for the middle schools, costs would be reduced by $9 million and Waco ISD architects estimated the total cost of projects at $367.1 million.
The district is expected to receive an insurance payment, based on an estimate of $17 million, for the fire damages at G.W. Carver Middle. However, district officials believe that the estimate is low and have stated they will ask for a higher amount.