Counting down: 12 for 2012

Published 8:54 am Sunday, January 1, 2012

There are more than 980 students at Ellis Middle School this year. The school's capacity is 975 students. -- Herald file photo

2. A new school and an expansion

Austin Public Schools will be plenty busy this year, as district officials will keep to a firm timetable to open and staff a new fifth- and sixth- grade school, among other projects.

A steering committee is currently reviewing architectural design ideas to figure out what the new school will look like. District officials hope the designs will be finished by the board’s special session meeting in January, when the board will put out bids for the new intermediate school’s construction and Woodson Kindergarten Center’s expansion. Both projects are expected to start in the early parts of 2012.

In addition, school administrators will look to hire a principal and either hire or transfer teachers to the new school, as well as develop a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum for fifth- and sixth-graders.

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“That’s going to take a lot of work,” said Don Fox, one of the chief advocates for introducing STEM curriculum to the new school.