“For the last four years our early college high school has operated in temporary facilities. As we reviewed the district’s facility plan we found an opportunity to create a permanent location for this important program,” said Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney Watson. “By using the T.C. Jester building, we can take advantage of an existing facility that is in good condition, centrally located and easily adaptable.”
The Spring community has consistently requested a permanent home for the early college campus since it opened during the 2011-12 school year through a partnership with Lone Star College – North Harris. Comments from community members, parents and students that appeared in a facility assessment survey conducted in April made it the top choice of those who responded.
To upgrade the three-story facility, the district anticipates spending roughly $4.4 million to create a campus that includes large, student learning spaces and common areas. The plan also outlines the creation of a café and various safety and security features. The price tag also includes furniture, fixtures and equipment.
The project will be financed totally by the district. Roughly $3.4 million will be covered by leftover bond funds and the remaining balance by the general fund. The campus should be completed by August 2016 in time for the start of school.
The Early College Academy gives students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and an associate degree or up to 60 hours toward a bachelor’s degree. Students take classes at Lone Star College – North Harris and the high school campus throughout the week to meet their requirements.
The school’s first graduating class ceremony was in May 2015.
Davis, Gonzales confirmed as election winners
Additionally during the meeting, the 2015 Board of Trustees election results were confirmed. Don Davis will assume position six and incumbent Jana Gonzales will continue to hold position seven.
The district’s seven trustees are elected for rotating three-year terms. Although elected to numbered positions, trustees represent Spring ISD as a whole, not specific geographic areas.
Davis is a retired Spring ISD teacher with more than 15 years in the classroom. He is most known for his time as director of Westfield High School’s JROTC Program; however, he is no stranger to the community. He also serves as a director of the Spring Education Foundation and a mentor in several programs. Davis is a retired captain of the U.S. Army.
Gonzales will enter her fourth term as a trustee. An active member of the community, she serves as vice president of business and community development at Investex Credit Union. Additionally, she is chair of the Spring Tri-Club, which oversees the annual livestock show and sale, and serves on the Spring ISD Education Foundation Board of Directors Education Advisory Board.
Both trustees will be sworn in Thursday, Dec. 3 during the next scheduled Board of Trustees work session.
Rios to serve as internal auditor
The board also approved the appointment of Patricia C. Rios as internal auditor. She will be responsible for regular reviews of the district’s finances and operations to ensure that they are efficient and effective.