New school needs taking shape

Published 11:17 am Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Austin Public Schools is one step closer to building a new school.

District officials outlined base requirements for a new fifth- and sixth-grade school near Ellis Middle School during Monday’s Austin Public School board meeting.

“We don’t have a definite design at this point,” Mark Stotts, finance and operations director, told the board. Stotts said a full design would be finished within a month.

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The school’s facilities committee of more than 60 district staff and residents recently finished identifying the school’s spaces and needs. The school’s classrooms should take up two stories and the building should be about 112,000 square feet.

There will be big changes, including moving athletic fields south of Sixth Avenue SE and working on the area’s drainage ditch. Stotts mentioned the city of Austin is looking to do an expansive drainage ditch project to ease flooding in the southeast area, which could take two to three years. The district presumably could work with city officials on the project.

In addition, four tennis courts will go up on the fields west of Neveln Elementary School, as the Ellis tennis courts will be demolished during construction.

“We think it’s a real good solution,” Stotts said.