Few can drive through the far northwest side of San Antonio and Bexar County and not recognize the immense growth in this area. It is this growth that fueled the need for new classrooms provided with the passage of School Bond 2014. New classrooms being built through these funds include Fields Elementary School, which opened in August 2014, Kallison Elementary School and Harlan High School, opening in 2017, and “Grosenbacher Area” elementary slated to open in 2018.
But, as is the case with previous Northside bonds, careful attention was given to ensuring that existing facilities across the District are also renovated and improved.
School Bond 2014 funded renovations to cafeterias and kitchens on seven campuses. These needed upgrades help ensure that Northside’s Child Nutrition staff are able to prepare and serve the approximate 114,000 healthy and nutritious meals provided each school day. As part of an upgrade, kitchen facilities receive expanded storage, preparation and refrigerator/freezer space and all other modifications and additions that would be included in any new school under construction. Likewise, new serving lines are often built inside the kitchen to allow for ease of service and menu demands.
Another component addressed through School Bond 2014 was increased security on elementary campuses through the addition of security lobbies. At campuses with security lobbies, visitors enter and are greeted in an enclosed area and are required to show identification before proceeding further into the building. These lobbies are meant to provide additional safety for staff and students.
Built in 1972, Esparza Elementary school recently saw the addition of their new security lobby. The finished product gives parents a new sense of security.
“Before the cafeteria and lobby was open for anyone to just walk in,” says Noemi Brausto, the parent of a first and third grader at the school. “With the security lobby I feel more at ease knowing that my children are safe in the cafeteria and that no one can just walk in.”
Principal Billy Navin cites multiple advantages from the new addition, “These upgrades, along with the extension of square footage to our lobby area, has contributed to a more efficiently run office while improving security and appearance at the same time.”
At Fields Elementary School, one of two Northside elementary campuses that opened in August 2016, Principal Daeon Harris says parents have been receptive to the idea of a secure lobby and were not bothered by the adjustment to new campus procedures.
“Many of the parents have commented that this was all for the children and they liked how much more comfortable they were with the security measures the school was taking,” says Harris.
Through bond funds, 30 campuses will be receiving security lobbies. Of these, 18 lobbies have been completed, three will be included in larger campus renovation projects, and nine are in design and scheduled to be completed in summer 2017.
Northside teachers and professional staff are seeing bond funds in action through a district iPad for educators initiative completed this fall. The decision to issue iPads to district educators is part of a larger program meant to provide teachers and students more mobile technology. After considering various multi-purpose devices and putting them through a trial run on several campuses, NISD selected the iPad as the most functional. This ensures teachers are better able to create engaging learning environments in their classroom.
Other bond-funded initiatives
School Bond 2014 is impacting the day-to-day life of students and staff in many ways. Below is a highlight of some of the projects either completed or scheduled:
- Adams Hill, Allen, Beard, Braun Station, Forester, Hoffmann, Knowlton, Timberwilde, and Villarreal elementary schools: Security lobbies, $1,260,000
- Allen Elementary School: Addition/ADA/window upgrades, $4,075,000
- Cody and Leon Valley elementary schools: Cafeteria and kitchen renovations, $3,260,000
- Colonies North Elementary School: Window upgrades/ADA work, $2,000,000
- Esparza Elementary School, Pease Middle School, Clark and Jay high schools: ALE upgrades or library renovations, $1,593,000
- Glass Elementary School: Window upgrades/ADA work, $1,500,000
- Glenn Elementary School: School building replacement and security lobby, $4,800,000
- Glenoaks Elementary School: Administration upgrades, $3,750,000
- Knowlton Elementary School: Cafeteria/kitchen renovations and library additions, $2,200,000
- Linton Elementary School: Canopy modification, $400,000
- Locke Hill, Thornton, Carlos Coon, Leon Valley, Powell, Michael, Mary Hull, Cable, Esparza, and Cody elementary schools: Security lobbies, $1,399,000
- Mary Hull Elementary School: Canopy modification, $300,000
- Powell and Helotes elementary schools: Window upgrades/ADA work, $700,000
- Scobee Elementary School: Canopy modification, $400,000
- Thornton Elementary School: Music room addition, $356,900
- Timberwilde Elementary School: Cafeteria/kitchen renovation and library addition, $2,200,000
- Northside Alternative North and Alternative South middle schools: Science lab additions/renovations, $600,000
- Rudder Middle School: Science lab addition, $4,782,000
- Luna Middle School: Classroom addition, $3,198,000
- Pease Middle School: Canopy modification and fine arts addition, $2,200,000
- Zachry Middle School: Bus canopy modification, $658,830
- Zachry Middle School and Jay High School: Door hardware project, $188,350
- Holmes High School: Fine arts upgrade, $14,000,000
- Marshall High School: Cafeteria/kitchen renovation, $4,400,000
- Northside Activity Center: Renovations, $4,000,000
For an update on Bond 2014, or to view the status of previous Bond projects, visit nisd.net/bond.