Sewage Capacity Forces Some ECISD Schools to Close to New Students

Josh Navarro
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- A record number of students isn't the only thing forcing the Ector County School District to close two schools to new enrollment, they're worried about overloading their sewage system. Because of that, school officials have had to cut off enrollment at both Murry Fly and Cavazos Elementary.

"So it's built to a certain capacity of students and daily usage and we're well beyond that," Michael Adkins with ECISD, said. "Even coming in with the city helping us by relieving some of that it's still an issue and we just have a point where that's all that the system can handle and we need to do something."

Murry Fly's maximum capacity is usually around six to seven hundred students and this school year they hit over 900. The news of turning away new students at the schools doesn't come easy for the principal at Murry Fly.

"It makes me feel bad, especially when they're our neighborhood kids. But I'm very confident that we're doing the best we can to make sure they get to the closest school. We provide transportation and the other schools are making them feel comfortable and as wanted as possible," Yolanda Hernandez, Principal at Murry Fly, said.

School district officials say the students who won't be attending these two schools may be placed at the closest school and see if they have enough room for them. Some of them may be attending campuses towards the City of Odessa.

"It is really a matter of looking at every campus, every elementary campus in the district and what their enrollment looks like and what their campus capacity is, if it can handle it then we try to identify some schools as close as possible and give the parents some options as to where they may want their kids to enroll," Adkins said.

Principal Hernandez hopes new schools will be built around the area because she believes having a sense of community and attending school around the neighborhood is important to a child's education.

"So Murry Fly is the center of this community as well as Cavazos over there. I believe building other schools will give the kids ownership and more pride in their school and in their neighborhoods," Hernandez said.

School officials say transferring students to other schools will not jeopardize their education.