New Administration Building, District Long Term Planning
During the December board of trustee meeting, trustees approved moving forward with plans to construct a new central administration building on the district-owned property next to Roark Early Education Center. Although the Conroe Courier ran an article January 4, we know that not everyone sees the paper, and we have additional information we wanted to share with you that will hopefully answer any questions you may have.
Is the building being paid for with Bond funds?
No, the proposed administration building would not be built with bond money. Instead, the building would be paid for with funds out of the district’s fund balance (savings account).
Why is a new building necessary?
Currently, administration is spread across four aging buildings with improvement needs that are costing the district excessive amounts of money to maintain. The buildings and their original build dates are: Cargill Administration (Superintendent, Business, HR), 1939; Cargill Annex (Innovation/Teaching/Learning, Student Services, Communication), 1922; Technology (corner of Rogers and Campbell), 1962; and Roark Early Education Center, (special education), 1956. The building would house about 100 employees and include extra office space, with the option to expand for future growth.
What is the timeframe?
Since the district already owns the land, construction can begin relatively quickly, probably by June 2019. Completion would be estimated for August 2020.
What will happen to the old buildings?
The district is considering the option of opening an accelerated high school that would provide an alternative academic setting for students to obtain a high school diploma, without extracurricular activities, while offering a flexible schedule and/or quicker pace. It would NOT be an alternative school for behavior issues. The Cargill building has historical significance since it was the original Willis High School, and is being considered as the permanent home for this program. The original floors and lockers would be left intact.
The Technology building would be demolished due to failing structural issues.
The Parent Support Center, currently located inside the Roark building, would move to the Cargill Annex (red building).
What is the long-term plan for the Roark Building?
The part of Roark that is currently the Parent Support Center would not be utilized for any new programs. The newer side of Roark that currently houses the Pre-K programs would remain until a decision is made about how to proceed (see below).
What is the status of Elementary #6 from the bond?
Due to issues with the land the district already owned, a new site for the elementary is being secured. Once the land is secured, construction will begin, with plans to have the school open August 2021.
District Growth and Facilities Planning
In the next few months we will receive an updated and comprehensive demographic study that will provide a clearer look at the growth that is projected for Willis and our school district. A long-term planning committee will likely begin meeting this fall to discuss the needs of district facilities for a future bond package. High on that list of needs will be a replacement for the Roark building, and whether that will take place where Roark currently sits, or on a new piece of property.
Conroe Courier Article