An El Paso school project that is expected to cost $28 million and will include both new construction and the demolition of an existing building may launch later this spring.
Members of the El Paso Independent School District’s board of trustees have just voted to approve the consolidation of the existing Dowell Elementary School and Schuster Elementary School.
At the same time, the board voted to close three other schools, all as part of a larger effort to better utilize space for a student enrollment that in recent decades has dropped from more than 60,000 students in 2015 to just over 58,000 last year.
In announcing the school closures and consolidation project, board president Trent Hatch said, “We are taking this drastic step in order to guarantee the financial solvency of our district and the longterm wellbeing of our students.”
The consolidation will see a new facility, to be named the Coach Archie Duran Elementary School, going up at the site of the current Dowell Elementary School at 5249 Bastille Avenue.
Designed by the architectural firm of Vigil & Associations, which has offices in Las Cruces, the project will include the construction of a new 100,000 square foot structure, as well as the demolition of an existing and aged 42,000 square foot building.
Money for the project is coming out of a $668 million bond approved by district voters in 2016.
It is expected that work on the consolidation project will be completed by the late summer of 2021, in time for that year’s fall semester.
By Garry Boulard
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