By Sylvia Gonzalez
MIDLAND - The Midland School Board is focused on making improvements to their elementary schools but that comes with a hefty price tag. At Tuesday night's board meeting, the district found out, it's going to cost more than expected to foot the bill.
"We gotta be very open with what we are looking at. We are looking at making an impact on every single campus that we have in the school district," Midland ISD Superintendent, Dr. Ryder Warren, said.
It will cost $163 million dollars to fix MISD's schools. That price tag is actually higher than what Warren first announced. After combing through the plans, architecture firm Parkhill, Smith and Cooper, announced the price tag would be going up by $4.5 Million. So why the dramatic increase? Part of it revolves around Bunche Elementary.
"It was going to take us only two and a half million dollars more to build a brand new school that we know will last for decades rather than just using an old building. The other couple of million dollars was the numbers that we had were almost a year old and we have grown more and inflation has hit us as well. The prices have gone up," Warren said.
On August ninth, the architecture firm will do a second presentation that calls for creating true middle schools.
"Do we want to mirror what the state is doing and take our six graders out of elementary schools and put them on junior high where most six graders are in the state and make them true middle schools? Closing down the freshmen centers making them into middle schools and putting the freshmen up at the high school level where we think they need to be," Warren said.
He believes both the board and the city have been very supportive on this issue.
"The board is very interested about this. I feel very pleased with the process that we have been going through because I think we have been truly getting some really good feedback from our community on this," Warren said.