By Sylvia Gonzalez
MIDLAND - Half a billion dollars. That's how much it will cost to complete MISD's long range vision for the district. The vision of providing the best education for Midland students is going beyond elementary campuses. Superintendent Dr. Ryder Warren has now shifted his vision to secondary schools.
There are four drivers to make the schools at MISD the best they can be, provide the best teachers, have the best programs to support those teachers, making real substantive changes in Austin and provide a multi-year plan to guarantee the adequate facilities for decades to come. Dr. Ryder says three options have been considered to be able to meet those needs.
"Building a new high school for Midland High School, finding about 80 acres somewhere in the community, and building a true high school to fit 3,200 kids, have all the facilities there for them so they never leave campus and do that, and then doing the same thing at Lee," Warren said.
That is not the only option the district is considering.
"Getting the six graders out of elementary and putting them where they should be because they are secondary students. Putting them together with six, seventh and eight graders at the middle schools, doing away with our ninth grade centers and putting our kids where they are suppose to be with their high school students and do 9-12 grade high schools," Warren said.
The third option would be, "The building of a third high school has been discussed. Having a new building for Midland High, keep Lee where it is. Having a new building for a third high school then dropping all those well under 3,000 students," Warren said.
However, the obstacle officials at MISD might run into is the price tag for each of these options:
Option one will cost $382,250,000. Option two will run $306,750,000 and option three has a price tag of $395,250,000.
Dr. Warren says no matter if Midlanders wish not to invest any more money in the district's facilities, there is still plenty of work to be done at MISD.
"We still have to get the best teacher's in here. We still have to have the best programs and we absolutely have to make changes in the law right now on the way kids are gauged and assessed and held accountable," Warren said.