After they listened to parents and families over two sessions, the Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees proposed to let the Creek Bend neighborhood remain at Miller Elementary. However, the remaining six neighborhoods are expected to rezone into the new J.R. Irvin Elementary campus.
The preliminary decision came after the board held two community-wide informational meetings on Oct. 8 and 9. Midlothian ISD Chief Communications Officer Karen Permetti said the district received feedback from five families, six individuals and 17 emails on the rezoning proposal.
Upon review of that feedback, the district decided that just seven kids from the Creek Bend neighborhood would have moved to the new J.R. Irvin Elementary building. Since Miller Elementary was significantly closer, the district determined that including their neighborhood into the rezoning wasn’t necessary.
The proposal also keeps Mount Zion at Miller Elementary and Apple Lane and Apple Court at Mt. Peak Elementary.
The six neighborhoods rezoned to J.R. Irvin includes Autumn Run, Hunters Glen, Hawkins Run, Bluegrass, Cotton Creek Ranch and Old Town East.
The board will vote on the rezoning proposal during their next meeting Nov. 12.
“We talk a lot about a culture of listening,” MISD Superintendent Dr. Lane Ledbetter said. “I think this exemplifies the fact that we are going to listen and evaluate. If we can make changes to support our community, then we will do that.”
Ledbetter stressed that demography is analyzed annually, and the board’s big goal is to maximize the space of their facilities.
“I believe I speak for the board when I say we don’t want to put portables in front of our buildings,” Ledbetter said.
For the remaining neighborhoods, Ledbetter explained that it wasn’t feasible to retain their original zoning. If they had not included Coldwater Creek into the proposal, for instance, more than 80 kids would have to remain at Miller Elementary.
Ledbetter said that doesn’t help manage the potential growth of J.R. Irving or maximum capacity at Miller Elementary.
“I don’t know what the solution is,” Ledbetter said. “If there is a solution to bring those kids back to Miller and rezone others, I don’t know what it is, because we’ve evaluated it multiple ways with our demographer trying to figure out how to make that work. I don’t believe it will work.”
Board president Matt Sanders said the board’s goal is to manage capacities for as far as they can stretch the tax dollar. Sometimes, he said, there isn’t a win-win in those decisions.
“We have another 30 days to look at it, tweak it if possible,” Sanders said. “But if not possible, we will make sure every kid is educated at a great campus.”
The trustees also received updates from Pogue Construction on the statuses of the Irvin Elementary rebuild, the Midlothian HHigh School athletic complex and the W.G. Roesler Athletic Complex.
Pogue Construction general superintendent Kiwi Authers said since they’ve started the rebuild project, they’ve poured 4,500 cubic yards of concrete, with 2,200 cubic yards poured since the last board update.
However, Authers said that the weather had an impact on their construction. For one thing, the construction team had to redo the concrete slab because the rain deteriorated the cardboard lining that held it in place. He also noted they’re currently at the second attempt for the slab and need three to five days of good weather so it can harden and remain in place.
“We need every day we can get,” Authers said. “The rain is impacting that a little bit. There’s a lot of things we can do once we get the opportunity, and when we do we’re going to pour the gas on the fire so, we can maintain that completion date.”
Sanders expressed some concern over Pogue’s work schedule. He pointed to a statement made at their July meeting, explaining they were on schedule.
“When those terms come out to me, that's telling me that slab work is getting pretty close,” Sanders said. “At our September groundbreaking meeting, we’re still waiting on a slab. We’re sitting here at our October meeting; we’re still waiting on slabs. I understand weather concerns on the construction project, but as you can see, we’re not feeling really comfortable. I’m not feeling a sense of urgency to try to overcome some of these things.”
Despite weather concerns, Authers said he’s confident they will complete the rebuild project on time with some re-sequencing and overtime. Authers noted the rebuild project is expected to maintain its original completion date on April next year. He estimated the MHS and W.G. Roesler Athletic Complexes would be complete by January and July respectively.
David Dunn, @DavidDunnInTX