Overcrowding Forces Big Spring ISD To Make Big Moves

Overcrowding Forces Big Spring ISD To Make Big Moves
By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - The Big Spring School District was forced to make some big changes, all because of overcrowding from the boom.

"None of us can predict the future. With the oil boom, it seems like our enrollment escalates and then it slows down, then it decreases, then it picks back up," Danny Ferrell, Assistant Superintendent at Big Spring ISD, said.

Just over 4,000 students are enrolled at Big Spring Independent School District. Based on that number, the junior high is looking at over 1,000 students next year. To help minimize overcrowding, the district has a plan.

One move the district plans to make to alleviate the overcrowding in schools is to move all sixth grade classes from Big Spring Junior High to the old Goliad Middle School building, which is currently used as a facility for records and registration for the district.

Big Spring ISD has been working for the past four to five months preparing old Goliad for incoming students and there is plenty of room to spare.

"Goliad can hold as high as 600 kids, so we feel that moving 400 kids over there is not going to be a problem whatsoever," Ferrell said.

Along with overcrowding, the boom has also created a shortage of teachers. Big Spring ISD recruits at job fairs as much as they can. But to help feed the need, the school board granted permission to offer contracts to qualified teachers on the spot.

"We anticipate at least in the next week about five or ten coming in from the job fairs to come finalize their paperwork for next year," Ferrell said.

With the alternate facility almost complete and more teachers coming on board, Big Spring ISD is prepared for what the future might hold.

"It's nice that we have plans already in place and we have facilities that we can go back to when we have to," Ferrell said.