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Rezoning shelved: Fort Bend ISD trustees ok $10M land purchase for new high school

February 2, 2019

After much-debated plans to re-draw attendance boundaries between several east-side high schools drew negative feedback from many parents, administrators recently proposed a change of plans. Instead, Fort Bend ISD trustees recently approved a $10 million land purchase to expedite construction of the district’s 12th high school campus as a way to ease overcrowding at Sienna Plantation’s Ridge Point High School. Tentatively scheduled to open in 2022, the new campus will be built on an 80-acre site located off of FM 521 in Rosharon, according to agenda documents.

In the weeks leading up to the vote, parents and community members appeared increasingly anxious as trustees weighed the possibility of re-zoning potentially thousands of students to a different high school. At a board meeting on Dec. 10, four re-zoning proposals were brought to the board by consultant Scott Leopold from Cooperative Strategies. The options were then presented to the public during a series of town hall-style meetings.

Trustees later evaluated the results of an online survey that allowed parents and the community to weigh in on the four options. For many, the answer was “none of the above”. Survey results indicate many parents and community members responded negatively to all four options.

Fort Bend ISD superintendent Charles Dupre outlined reasons for the change of plans in an online update posted Jan. 25.

“As you are aware, High School 12 was included in the 2018 bond, and through the recent community engagement efforts, it became clear that the community’s desire was to make minimal changes in the short term, prior to the construction of the new school,” Dupre wrote. “Our decision to withdraw our recommendation for high school attendance boundary changes at this time is based on several factors, including the identification of a site for building High School 12 and the Board’s desire to take immediate action to secure the site. This provides a more clear path forward and will enable the drawing of boundaries for the new high school and minimize the disruption to students of rezoning to balance enrollment and rezoning again to open High School 12.”

For now, plans to re-drawing attendance boundaries to balance enrollment between east-side high school campuses are on hold for at least two years. The measure was unanimously approved at a school board meeting held Tuesday, Jan. 29.

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