New report cards grade the condition of aging Austin ISD schools

Old lockers at McCallum High School (KXAN Photo)
Old lockers at McCallum High School (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s a tradition that dates back years and years.

On Friday afternoons during football season, you will find the McCallum High School marching band leading the entire campus to the pep rallies.

The drum line keeps the beat through the hallways lined with wood paneling and rusty lockers original to the campus that was built in 1953.

Bathrooms and the cafeteria have been upgraded over the years, along with a state-of-the-art fine arts facility.

“There have been some bond packages, but it’s been very piecemeal — fix this, fix this, fix this, instead of taking care of the whole systemic problem,” said principal Mike Garrison. “I think if it’s more modern and updated I think the kids will respond better, act better, there will be more pride in the school.”

McCallum is not alone. The average age of an Austin ISD campus is 40 years old.

“I think McCallum is indicative of what you find at a lot of our schools,” said AISD Chief Financial Officer Nicole Conley.

She hopes the public will go online and check out where schools may be lacking.

This week, the district started posting elementary campus report cards. Middle school and high schools should be added by the end of the week. They are assessments made by an outside consulting firm hired by the district to help figure out how to modernize schools.

“Our buildings are not necessarily made to support current or future learning styles and so we’re trying to figure out where do we need to be to accommodate learning styles now and well into the future,” said Conley.

The results are being released to the public in conjunction with a series of meetings where the community can weigh in.

  • October 11 Eastside Memorial HS Cafeteria (6 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
  • October 12 Burger Stadium (4 p.m. – 6:30 pm)
  • October 13 Reagan HS Cafeteria (6 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
  • October 14 Allan Center Cafeteria (12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.)
  • October 15 Small MS Cafeteria (9 a.m. – 11 a.m.)
  • October 15 Lamar MS Cafeteria (12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

The campus report cards and public feedback will play into a potential bond election in 2017. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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