Tomball ISD plans new stadium, natatorium schools
The Tomball ISD board of trustees unanimously approved $207 million for nine construction projects that will include two new schools and a stadium at its regular meeting on Tuesday.
The projects are part of the $275 million bond approved by voters in 2017 that will also include building a new agricultural barn, natatorium and renovations.
“There’s a tremendous amount of work being done,” chief financial officer Jim Ross told the board.
2017 bond construction and costs
While the board unanimously approved the costs for most of its construction projects, the trustees expressed concerns about not having seen the building plans and renderings for both schools.
“To me, it feels a little premature for us to be approving the construction. I don’t feel like I’ve seen what we’re constructing. I haven’t seen enough to be comfortable giving approval. I still want to make sure what we’re building is what I think we’re building before I’m all in,” trustee John McStravick said on Monday.
Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora told the board that the designs of the new campuses were based on schools the district had previously built.
“The elementary and the junior high again — again, the templates are schools that we have built before. Different colors, perhaps, a few minor changes, but overall, they look the same. They’re the exact same thumbprint as schools that we have built before,” she said.
During the meeting on Tuesday, Ross provided a presentation with architectural renderings to the board.
He told the board the new elementary school’s design would be modeled after Wildwood Elementary School while the new junior high school’s design would be modeled after Creekside Park Junior High School.
Ross also said the three projects had been held back due to negotiations with Harris County on constructing a road that would lead to the site as well as obtaining permits and land access, which in turn inflated the original budget.
“It seems everyone wants in our pockets,” he said.
Ross told the board that the costs listed in the agenda would be the maximum amounts for the projects.
After the presentation, the board approved costs for the new elementary school that would not exceed $21.1 million, while the new junior high school would not go over $43.2 million and a new stadium would not be more than $42.2 million.
The planned complex would also include site development that would cost up to $37 million and a water and wastewater treatment plant for $6.8 million.
Both new schools and the stadium will be built at the same site along Cypress Rosehill Road and the Grand Parkway.
The board had previously accepted the schematic designs for the new stadium along with renovations and a natatorium at Tomball Memorial High School and an agriculture barn at Tomball High School during the previous meeting in March.
The agenda also included costs for a new natatorium planned at Tomball Memorial High School for $11 million and a campus expansion for $37.9 million.
The natatorium would feature a 25-meter pool, which was selected by the board instead of a 50-meter pool and helped bring costs down.
“I think you made a good choice with the 25. It’s a much better buy,” Ross told the board.
A new agricultural barn at Tomball High School would cost up to $6.7 million while a bid to clear the land beside the campus would cost $136,650.
Ross said the project may begin this week.
“It’s actually not scheduled to be first one to take off, but it looks like it could be,” he told the board.
An auditorium renovation project at Tomball High School will also go forward with a cost of $554,401 after being approved.
The board also approved Salazar-Zamora or her designee to sign off on final agreements for construction contracts as well as the plats for the new schools and stadium complex.
The board approved leasing five portable classrooms from Satellite Shelters, Inc. for a total cost of $207,837 along with electrical service materials that would cost $18,000.
The board also removed an item from the agenda over renovations to the entrance of Tomball Intermediate School, which would have cost a maximum of $2.1 million.
Instead, the board approved Salazar-Zamora or her designee to enter into finalize a contract with VLK Architects for the design and construction of the Tomball Intermediate School entrance.
The board would have a look at proposed plans at the next meeting scheduled in May, Salazar-Zamora said.
2013 bond projects
The board also approved two maintenance projects that are part of the district’s 2013 bond.
The first item approved was a contract with Approve Point Alliance Solutions for renovations to the restrooms and the main concession of the district’s current stadium for $150,697.
The second approved item was to purchase and replace chillers for the air conditioning system at Willow Wood Junior High School for $495,000.