AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Austin ISD plans for the future, they want feedback from parents. The district has been holding community engagement meetings, inviting families to ask questions and tell planners what they hope the next few decades will look like. Comments will be used to help fine-tune the Facility Master Plan that’s in the works.
A meeting was held Tuesday night at Martin Middle School in east Austin. Hundreds of parents showed up, many passionate about keeping the schools they love open.
“Martin Middle School is the heart of our community,” said AISD parent Bertha Delgado. “Many people that have lived here, it’s a part of our legacy, it’s historical. My parents went here, some of our grandparents went here, some of our children have been here. So it’s a generational school for us.”
She and others want the district to make Martin a priority. The school has poor building standards and chronically low attendance, just 57 percent at capacity. Because Martin is the only feeder school to Eastside Memorial High School, parents are pleading with district to work to bring students back.
“In east Austin, all schools are facing some type of closure, or low enrollment or not meeting some type of standards, and it is because of the gentrification that has hit our neighborhood,” said Delgado. “Because Martin is facing so many different challenges, it’s important for the community to get involved, get engaged.”
It’s the kind of feedback planners are looking to hear.
Leticia Caballero is a member of the Facilities and Bond Planning Advisory Committee (FABPAC). “It’s not a one size fits all, we’re going to have to look at each area in different way, different lens, to come up with a solution for that area of town,” said Caballero.
For months, she and the other planners have been looking at all 130 AISD facilities, examining infrastructure needs and figuring out what they want the next 25 to 30 years to look like.
The FABPAC will review and use public input as they continue to work with consultants to refine the Facilities Master Plan draft, eventually deciding on recommendations.
Another meeting will take place Wednesday at Burnet Middle School in the cafeteria at 6 p.m. The last meeting is Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Gorzycki Middle School.