Education

Education

BELTON — Charter Oak Elementary School is nearing completion as Belton Independent School District continues to build to accommodate growth.

Jarrod Sterzinger of architecture firm O’Connell Robertson gave the district’s board of trustees an update on bond construction Monday. Michelle Box of Temple Demographics also gave a presentation to the board, noting that the population of Belton ISD continues to grow and economic growth indicates that there will be fuel for more growth in the future.

Belton ISD voters approved a $149.7 million bond issue in 2017 to pay for Charter Oak and a second comprehensive high school, Lake Belton High School. The new elementary is scheduled to open in the fall and Lake Belton is scheduled to open the following year.

Sterzinger reviewed some of the new elementary school’s more unique details in his presentation.

“The inside is starting to take shape,” Sterzinger said. “We’re excited about Charter Oak Elementary School really nearing completion.”

The playground at the new elementary is designed with soft surfaces that are supposed to be safe for children to fall on. Superintendent Susan Kincannon noted that other playgrounds in the district will look more like Charter Oak’s in the future.

“That is our model,” Kincannon said. “We’ve talked about upgrades to all of our playgrounds this year. … I’m very pleased with (the design) — that playground is fantastic.”

Although it is a longer-term project, Sterzinger said that construction at Lake Belton High School also is proceeding quickly.

“It really is amazing how much work is going on,” Sterzinger said. “In the first six months, they did $20 million worth of work. In the last three months, they’ve completed another $20 million worth of work, so they’ve really picked up the pace.”

Belton Independent School District first broke ground on Lake Belton High almost one year ago.

“We’re about 15 months out from substantial completion on this one as well,” Sterzinger said.

The district is planning an addition to Belton High School to give that campus a new orchestra hall. Sterzinger said that addition should be ready to open for the 2020-21 school year.

“This is an important project for us because we lose the band hall at the ninth grade center when that becomes a middle school again,” Kincannon said.

After the new high school opens, an old middle school that is currently being used as Belton High School’s ninth grade center will return to its original purpose as Belton Middle School.