COCISD continues to address growth issues with bond
Parents driving by the James Street or Coldspring Intermediate campus have watched patiently the construction of a new wing for pre-kindergarten students being erected, and now district officials are confident that the new area will be ready and fully operational for the 2019-2020 school year.
“It is very exciting,” said COCISD spokesperson Cassie Gregory.
“It was one of our major projects from the bond referendum passed in 2017 and we’re excited it will open for the 2019 school year,” she said.
Gone will be the portable buildings and a better situation for the district’s youngest students.
“We have a growing Pre-K program and they have been in portable buildings which is not a great situation for them,” she said.
When the area was confronted with storms, teachers would have to stop what they were doing, line the students up, and take them over to the main building where staff felt they would be safer.
“They would put them in the hallway or crowd them into another classroom since it wasn’t safe for them to be in a portable building,” she said.
The bond project rids the district of portable buildings, at least for the time being as they continue a growth trajectory like area districts.
Gregory said the district’s Pre-K program has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years and the facilities were in desperate need of expansion.
The new wing will provide 8,000 square-feet of educational space housing four large classrooms, each with its own bathroom and water fountain.
In addition to the classroom space, the wing will also contain space for the COCISD Health Services Department with clinic facilities for both the James Street Elementary and Coldspring Intermediate students.
Connected by a hallway to the shared JSE/CIS cafeteria, the new wing is located on the west side of the CIS campus at the new elementary bus loop.
The total bond package was $19.8 million and was to address the growth in the district and the majority of the money, some $18.5 million, was allocated for the construction side of the bond.
The Pre-K wing alone was projected to cost $1.2 to $1.4 million.
Four teachers and an instructional aide will staff each of the four new classrooms.
In addition to the new wing, the bond also addressed issues at the high school with expansion particularly for the band program which is also growing rapidly.
“Our band program has just gone through the roof and they really needed a new facility,” Gregory said.
At the high school, expansion includes additional storage and practice rooms while Lincoln Junior High will receive a completely new band hall building with practice rooms, library, instrument repair room, instrument storage and ensemble rehearsal rooms.
A new Career and Technical Education (CTE) facility will house laboratories and hands-on educational training spaces, another facility Gregory said was desperately needed.
For more information on the bond program at Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated ISD, please visit their website at www.cocisd.org and click on the District tab, and then the Bond Construction tab for a deeper explanation.