For the first time in nearly 20 years Lubbock ISD is building new elementary schools. One will be located in northwest Lubbock at North Utica and Kemper. The other is in southeast Lubbock at 79th and Avenue P. NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire was at the official groundbreaking ceremony and has more.
What's ironic about the situation is in 1995 voters approved funds for one new elementary school, but it was never built because the need didn't exist. However, now there's so much growth taking place that the district is building two schools.
Two years ago areas of northwest and southeast Lubbock were empty fields, but now the sites are home to two new Lubbock elementary schools. Voters okayed the $98.8 million bond project in 2004. After the groundbreaking ceremony, construction is officially underway.
"There's so many children around this neighborhood and I'm pretty sure they're going to enjoy it, so they can be able to walk to their school without being bused," said northwest Lubbock resident Lillie Martinez.
Martinez's grandchildren will attend the new northwest campus. The area has been rapidly growing and she says it's nice to see the school district meet the community's needs.
Right now students who will attend the northwest campus are bused to Hardwick, the districts most crowded elementary with 750 students. Superintendent Wayne Havens says the new campuses will help ease the crowding.
"Certainly this is an exciting time for us when we need to build buildings to accommodate students," said Havens.
Both schools are being built near housing developments and because of all the growth, each school is already almost at capacity.
"Anticipation of 1,700 new homes in this area (of northwest Lubbock), this will fill this elementary school very quickly," said Havens.
The schools should be ready for the 2007-2008 school year. Each school will feature 25 classrooms, a cafeteria/auditorium and performance area, two computer labs, science lab, and a connected gymnasium.
The northwest campus will accommodate students currently attending Rush and Hardwick. Students attending Bayless, Parsons, Haynes and Waters will attend the southeast location.
Each school will hold about 500 students. Construction should be finished by June 2007.
We don't know the names of the schools yet. The school board will name schools, typically that's done when the building is almost completed.
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