By Chris McGuinness
Killeen Daily Herald
Plans for the Killeen Independent School District’s newest elementary school continue to move forward, along with a slate of several other construction and renovation projects.
On Monday, the school board received a site analysis for the 21.5 acres of land in the southwest portion of the district for the 33rd elementary school.
Earlier this month, board members allowed Killeen school Superintendent Robert Muller to negotiate a contract with the Cunningham-Allen firm of Austin for civil engineering services.
“It is still early in the process,” said Max Cleaver, executive director of facilities services for the district.
The early stages of the civil engineering process will yield several important construction documents, including a topographic survey, a preliminary layout of the school site and utility and grading plans.
The new elementary school has an estimated cost of about $19.5 million, according to the district’s facilities master plan. The board has approved $550,000 to purchase the land, and the Cunningham-Allen firm estimates that its work will cost about $22,000.
“We expect to open the door for this school in fall of 2014,” said Cleaver. “We believe the construction will take about 18 months.”
But the new elementary school isn’t the only project moving from conceptual stages.
The board also approved this month schematic designs for a long-awaited addition to Reeces Creek Elementary School, a project that has been on the district’s radar since 2008.
The project will include the addition of 12 classrooms, a library expansion and a relocation for some administration areas. Currently, the district has spent more than $237,000 on services from the Huckabee architectural firm.
Cleaver said that project has a $4.7 million budget and hopes the new classrooms and library will open in the fall of 2013.
The district also is moving forward with building 16 new science labs for its high schools. The $6.6 million project is funded partially by a $5 million grant from the Texas Education Agency. Cleaver said the contractor for the project, Cloud Construction, is seeking bids. The terms of the grant stipulate that construction of the labs must be completed by June 2013.
When the district starts construction of the projects, much of the work will happen during the summer when students and staff are not in class, said Cleaver.
“When it come to the noise and the dust, we don’t want that bothering the kids and teachers,” said Cleaver. “We will try and make sure they won’t have to deal with that.”
Local residents soon will see the completion of one of the district’s most anticipated facilities near the end of the current school year. The district’s new Career Center — a 142,000-square-foot facility that will allow students to train in a number of careers and earn certificates and professional licenses — is set for completion in June.
Cleaver said the facility, located at the corner of Trimmier and Stagecoach roads near Patterson Middle School, is on track for the 2012-13 school year.