Until the May 14, 2011 election, San Saba ISD officials will be submitting information about the building program so that taxpayers can have as much information as possible. This information will be fact based only and will not present a position. It is important to know how we have come to this point and what is next in our planning. Three years ago, the San Saba ISD Board of Trustees commissioned a professional facility study. This study was performed by the Texas Association of School Administrators. The consultant came on site and looked at the facilities, the instructional patterns, the student demographics, the blueprints of each building and made an overall assessment of the needs of the district buildings. When we speak of needs, this means how will the current building address future instruction? Everything is about instruction.
After the facility study was completed it was provided to a citizens group for their consideration. As well, the citizens group toured all the facilities and the needs were prioritized. At this point, no forward motion was made on addressing facility needs until some sort of funding became available. The district had hope that an instructional facilities allotment grant would be available from the state, or that we would be awarded the science lab grant that the district has been applying for over the last three years, but none of this came to pass. What did happen is the Qualified School Construction Bond Program. Being awarded these zero to low interest bonds enabled the school district to designate a committee once again to determine the most pressing needs that could be presented to the voters. That is how SSISD has come to this point. Sound planning from both an outside view and inside view has occurred, outside funding has been applied for to offset local costs, and we are now at this point.
What is next in the process? In the coming weeks, the School Board of Trustees will name an architect that will help the ISD design the project so that the voters can have a rendition of the proposed buildings. The ISD is not obligated monetarily to the architect or to any builder during this preliminary planning. If the bond passes only then is the District obligated to compensate an architect for services rendered after the election has been passed. Once the architect is selected the ISD and the citizens committee will begin setting out the specifications for the buildings so that the taxpayers can have a picture of what the buildings will look like and where they will be positioned. Another bit of good news is the Red Brick Gym is being considered in the planning process. It is being looked at to determine what type of facility it can become. In the coming weeks we will talk about why a facility is needed for elementary school, why science labs are needed, and why a band hall is needed and talk about the cost to the taxpayer. If you have a group that would like to have district officials or board members come speak at a meeting regarding the possible building project, please don’t hesitate to call and we will set this up for you. As well, individual meetings and tours are definitely possible for individual scheduling. Please call at 325/372-3771 for more information or to set up an appointment.