Three new schools may be built in the third largest school district in El Paso, depending upon the results of an upcoming November bond election.
Voters residing within the boundary of the Ysleta Independent School District, which is located mostly on the east side of El Paso, will be asked to decide on the passage of a $425 million bond that will also pay for a series of facility security upgrades.
After meeting repeatedly throughout the summer, members of the district’s Facilities Advisory Committee, made up of alumni, teachers, residents, and law enforcement officials, among others, voted in favor of a bond that is largely a response to the district’s declining enrollment.
Where the district had more than 50,000 students several decades ago, today it is down to just over 40,000.
Because of those numbers, district officials have gone through the arduous process of closing some schools and consolidating others.
A new middle school in the Riverside neighborhood will serve as the consolidated response to the closing of two elementary schools, while another new middle school facility in the Hanks neighborhood will house students from two other closed middle schools.
The bond will also pay for the renovation of the Dolphin Terrace Elementary School, located at 9790 Pickeral Drive, as well as the Bel Air High School at 721 N. Yarbrough Drive.
Each existing school in the district will see the installation of refrigerated air systems, while all of the facilities will also undergo safety and security enhancements.
Those enhancements are expected to include the construction of perimeter fencing around the properties of each school, as well as the building of security vestibules inside the schools.
Four years ago district residents, with 59 percent of the vote, approved a $430 million bond for both new facility construction, as well as existing facility renovations.
By Garry Boulard
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