Lago Vista set to open new $30M high school campus

LAGO VISTA, Texas (KXAN) — High school students in Lago Vista have a brand new 30 million dollar building for learning.

Jacob Flores enjoyed a little time alone Tuesday polishing up his skills playing the trumpet before classes start.

“It’s a really good time to practice because you don’t really have to worry about anyone correcting you, so you can really play your heart out to whatever music you want to,” the senior said.

But come this time next week, the band hall at Lago Vista High School will be crowded. The district will open their new $29.6 million campus to students on Monday.

Flores, however, is more excited to play on their new big stage. “The new football field of course…it’s Astroturf and it’s just completely different than the last field that we had.”

Administrators say the school will hold 440 students and has the capacity to triple in size as the student body grows.

“I can’t wait to have our first football game here and were planning a variety show at the (Performing Arts Center) for the band to raise money,” said parent Vicki McCracken. The new campus is the biggest news in town.

“It’s much more open,” parent Katherine McKenzie added. “Just walking in the halls there’s a lot more space.”

Of course, any school bond comes with a cost. Since it passed, families in Lago Vista have paid an extra 14 cents on their taxes. Right now it’s a $1.32 for every $100 on their property.

That’s more than Austin ISD where the tax rate is a $1.24, but less than Leander ISD with a tax rate of a $1.51.

How much does your school cost?

Up until now it would be hard to find out how much a school built in your district could cost.

In June, the Texas Comptroller unveiled a website listing the costs of each school built in recent years. Comptroller Susan Combs said the project was a lot tougher than you’d imagine. She had to make formal open records requests to each individual district.

According to the site, Round Rock ISD’s Cedar Ridge High School was the 12th most expensive in the state. The district responded saying the materials were more expensive than perspective during construction.

Combs says this information is important because it gives parents, taxpayers, everyone more perspective.

“When you worry about the skin on the outside more than you with what goes on in the inside, I think you’re forgetting your primary customer and that’s the kid, she said.”

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