Framing on the newest elementary school in Belton Independent School District is nearly complete.
Charter Oak Elementary School — at 8402 Poison Oak Road in Temple — will be BISD’s 11th elementary campus. It scheduled to open in the fall of 2019, although Temple city officials say improvements to the road won’t be complete by then.
The district also has made progress on Lake Belton High School, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020.
“It is exciting to see all the progress that has been made on each of these new campuses,” Superintendent Susan Kincannon said in a news release.
At the Lake Belton High School site, much of the structural steel is up and concrete slabs have been poured. Workers are laying concrete masonry for the auditorium, and tilt walls are complete for both gyms.
Belton High School’s ninth grade campus will revert back to its previous purpose as a middle school after Lake Belton High opens.
These new campuses will require the district re-draw attendance boundaries. Public forums for new boundaries are scheduled at 6:30 p.m. for Dec. 4, 10 and 13 in the Pittenger Fine Arts Center, 400 N. Wall St.
A committee of community members and teachers discussed potential new boundaries in a series of meetings. Committee members sought to come up with potential boundaries that put students in close proximity to their schools but at the same time maintain a diverse population on each campus. The goal is to keeping campuses from becoming overcrowded in the near future, which would require yet another attempt at drawing new boundaries.
“As the buildings take shape, it reinforces the important work that members of the Attendance Boundaries Committee have taken on and the opportunity the community has to weigh in on the maps being discussed at the upcoming public forums,” Kincannon said.
Representatives from the consulting firm Templeton Demographics have assisted the committee in understanding where growth is happening and how it will impact each campus with different potential boundary lines.
“We’ve talked a lot about different challenges facing Belton ISD rezoning, and we really want to start honing in on what the highest priorities are,” demographer Michelle Box said. “Sometimes these boundary … (criteria) are in conflict with one another.”
Feedback from the public forums will help the Attendance Boundaries Committee devise a final plan to recommend to the BISD board. Committee members have been encouraged to find out what their friends and neighbors think of the different priorities that go into designing attendance boundaries in order to come up with a plan that suits the whole district.
“We want to hear what you value most,” Box said. “We are giving you homework.”
The board is expected to vote on new boundaries in January 2019.
“This process is designed to be open and inclusive in order to develop boundaries that will serve our students, parents and community for years to come,” Board President Sue Jordan said in the release.