Two Red Oak ISD buildings are still awaiting approval of building plans from the district’s board of trustees but are not far delayed in construction.

“We are hoping to have the board approve the elementary building plan during this month’s school board meeting so we can move forward with the bidding process,” said Russ Schupmann, assistant superintendent for school improvement and campus operation. “We have the location and the building plan layout, but we’re just waiting on the approval. As of right now, we’re refining the look of the building such as the physical layout, the dimensions and the roadway in and around the campus. Also, we may look to change certain aspects of the building as we look at it.”

A ground breaking for the new Shields, which will accommodate up to 700 students at a cost of $15,685,063, is scheduled for December once all of the bids are in and the site is finalized.

The new Red Oak High School, at a cost of $72,582,652, will have a capacity of 2,400 students, with a core for 2,800 students.

The new high school would include a ninth-grade center, fine arts center with seating for 1,200, agriculture building, competition tennis courts and baseball and softball fields, practice fields for soccer and football, a practice track and locker rooms for all sports. The CATE facility would remain at the current Red Oak High School as the district facility and Goodloe Stadium will remain the district’s competition facility for football, soccer and track.

Schupmann said the district is still in the negotiation process for the high school site.

“Although the plan for the new high school is not finished, we have a pretty good feel of the location,” he said, noting the groundbreaking for the high school is scheduled for the spring. “We are where we need to be, but the designing and planning process just takes a little longer.”

The buildings will help alleviate over crowding issues for the time being but Schupmann said he is sure the topic of constructing additional buildings will surface as the district continues to grow.

“If the district grows like we think it will, we feel that we will have to build more buildings in the future considering if the housing market reaches the rate at which it used to be,” he said, saying the district hopes to use the interest money from the $95 million bond that was passed in May to purchase future land sites. “We’ve estimated to have at least 22,000 students in the future as the district continues to build out. We are already at 5,200 students now.”

A master plan is intact to build out the district as time passes, Schupmann said, saying the plan includes that of setting the perimeters on the size of the school and the demography of the number of students expected to enroll.

“We’ve looked to the future of how this area will build out as developers continue to build homes here,” he said.

The bond package also included $6,752,000 dedicated for maintenance issues across the district, including the replacement of air conditioning units, additional parking spaces, additional roads for better traffic flow, energy management system, drainage issues at the high school and security entrances at all campuses.

“Those are just the highlights of what we want to do from a maintenance standpoint but implementing security entrances at all campuses is indeed a high priority,” he said.

The total cost of the bond is $95,019,688, which includes a 12 percent inflation rate that was factored in.

The bond is funding the purchase of land for the new high school and Shields Elementary School, the construction of the new high school and new Shields, funds for maintenance improvements across the district and remodeling the current Red Oak High School into a junior high campus and the current Red Oak Junior High into a second intermediate school.

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