AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s time for Austin ISD schools to be graded. The district is releasing an online report card of their buildings, warning that without upgrades some campuses will continue to deteriorate.
AISD says when a school looks good, students learn more. The average age of an Austin ISD campus is 40 years old, and the ones in that age bracket are the schools the district says are in most need of repair. The district interviewed more than 250 maintenance workers and they found that many schools need better lighting, more parking, PE fields, lockers and technology upgrades.
School leaders say they need to update their facilities master plan because they have one of the state’s fastest growing districts. This week, they are starting a series of public meetings to hear what parents and community leaders think about their neighborhood schools.
The meeting Wednesday night is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Burger Stadium on Jones Road. The schedule of the upcoming meetings is listed below.
- 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.)
In the past, voters said no to bonds that would build new schools. Now, the district plans to try again with a potential bond next year hoping to use information collected in these public hearings to pitch that bond.
Building new schools is not an option for AISD right now. Last year, some schools had to get creative to teach the extra students that are filling up classrooms. At Blazier Elementary School, a computer lab was turned into a homeroom classroom. The campus was built for 600 students and had expanded to nearly 1,000.
School boundaries are another solution. Education officials are working to develop a long term plan, but the district has not set a timeline yet.