On November 7, 2012, Ector County voters approved a $129,750,000 school bond by a very strong 63%-37% margin. The results mean we will be building three new elementary schools (two of them in west Odessa and one in northeast Odessa), plus new buildings and substantial renovations at Odessa High School and Permian High School in order to move 9th-graders to the high school campuses and implement a middle school grade alignment. Construction is scheduled to be completed by Fall of 2015, and that is when the transition to the new grade alignments will take place – grades K-5 (or PK-5 depending on the school) in elementary schools; 6-8 in middle schools; and 9-12 at the high schools.
Before any ground is broken, a lot of work is done to ensure the projects meet all of our goals – to be safe learning environments for our students and our staff members; to support good teaching and learning, not hinder it; and to create excitement and a sense of pride for our community.The building process actually began with community meetings and a survey. The survey was sent to our ECISD employees, and then opened up for everyone to respond. It asked people to choose what they feel are the five most important elements (from 13 options) of an elementary school’s design. Interestingly, the results from both groups were almost identical. The top five elements were the same, though in different orders -- Safe, Integrated, Collaboration, Discovery, and Community. This is where our discussion with the architects began; rather than tell them to design a building with a certain number of classrooms, bathroom, lounges, and an office, we asked them to design a building that brought those five common elements to the front of everyday activities.
The community focus groups zeroed in how 9th-graders will transition to high school campus when they have traditionally been part of smaller junior high schools. The focus groups also voiced concerns and offered suggestions as to making the larger high schools feel smaller – thus the name “Big to Small” as the title of the conversations.
The estimated costs for these projects are as follows:
- Odessa High School $40,380,000
The high school estimates are based on total new square footage of 117,000—capacity to handle approximately 1,000 additional students.
- West Elementary (16th & Knox) $19,200,000 includes sewer plant and land acquisition
All elementary school estimates are based on a total of 85,000 square feet and capacity for up to 750 students.
In September the Board of Trustees approved a debt service tax rate of .121 per $100 valuation which isup 4.15 centsfrom last year. The increase is the direct result of the passage of this school bond.
The architecture firms leading these projects are JSA Architects for the renovations and expansion at Odessa High School; and Parkhill, Smith, & Cooper leading the Permian High School and elementary projects. The PHS design was originally awarded to Hunter Corral Associates but Parkhill, Smith, & Cooper has since bought HCA.
The contractors are Lee Lewis Construction, Inc. and MW Builders.
To the left you will find individual breakdowns of the projects that include drawings and timelines.
Thank you for your support of these projects. We are looking forward to the brand new facilities that will help usher in a bright future for Ector County ISD!