The Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees convened twice this week to discuss the future of the district.
The board discussed first met with prospective candidates who plan to run in the May 4 general election and then the anticipated growth of Midlothian ISD in the coming years.
With the city growing, so is the prospective student base for Midlothian ISD. The fact was the sole topic discussed by the board during its Tuesday workshop. No actions were taken during the meeting, and the discussions will continue in the coming weeks.
While the growth continues, the board looks to the future for expansion projects.
One of those projects is expanding Midlothian Heritage High School. From 2016-17, the school taught about 830 students. To account for the growing numbers, the board looks to have the expansion done by May 2022.
The preliminary date accounts for a March 2019 approval of a plan, developing construction documents by September 2019, the sale of bonds by April 2020, receive construction bids by April 2020 and completion by May 2022, explained Jim Norris, assistant superintendent of finance and operations.
The expansion would be done to the backside of the existing building and include a classroom wing, auditorium, competition gym, field house and parking.
“I love this vision because we need it,” trustee Carl Smith said during the meeting.
The district has $68,000,000 in available funds for the project, Norris noted. These funds come from the bond which was passed in 2016.
While the high school is growing so is the elementary population in the district. It is anticipated that by 2022-23 the district will be over 36 student capacity and by 2023-24 nearly 325 students over capacity, Norris said.
In response, the board should look to add an eighth elementary school, Norris noted. The construction would take 18 months with $32,000,000 in available funds.
The population count is preliminary, and no actions were taken during the workshop.
During a Monday special session, the board met with prospective candidates wanting to run in the May 4 election.
The board has two seats up for reelection including place 4 and 5, held by board president Matt Sanders and board vice president Stewart Domke respectively.
About a dozen people learned what the position entails and asked the board questions.
Superintendent Lane Ledbetter said the board runs like a corporate board and only has power as a board. It sets responsibilities that the staff have to carry out.
“It is a big commitment when you choose to do this,” he said.
Board members discussed the time commitment which includes monthly board meetings, workshop and attending district events. Sanders also mentioned the time it takes to prepare for meetings with packets upwards of 100 pages.
“Your life will change,” Sanders noted. He added that it is not a bad change but a change nonetheless.
Domke noted that every decision the board makes effects a student in the classroom, and it is not to be taken lightly.
Filing to run opened Jan. 14 and runs through Feb. 15. Those interested can file in person or by mail at the L.A. Mills Administration Building at 100 Walter Stephenson Road in Midlothian.
The board meets again for a regular meeting at 6 p.m. on Feb. 18 at the L.A. Mills Administration Building.
Samantha Douty, @SamanthaDouty