At a Jan. 7 special meeting, La
Porte ISD's Board of Trustees approved the purchase of land for relocating Bayshore Elementary School, which was damaged as
a result of Hurricane Ike.
After months of discussion about the
school, the Board voted to purchase a 20.1-acre tract of land at the corner of McCabe Road and
Highway 146. The property, which is
zoned as residential, is adjacent to the Bay Forest Golf Course, and planned
housing developments are located to the north and south of the site.
The earnest money contract on the
property will enable the district to conduct all of the engineering and other
studies that are necessary prior to building a new school. The new facility is expected to be completed
for the second semester of the 2009-2010 school year.
LPISD began addressing the recovery
of Bayshore immediately following the storm.
On Monday, Sept. 15, the district began working on clean-up at the
of the significance of the damage, plans were made to relocate Bayshore
students to five other LPISD elementary schools when classes resumed on Sept.
29. A public hearing was held on issues
related to Hurricane Ike impact and recovery during a special meeting of the
Board on Sept. 23.
At the Oct. 14 Board meeting,
Superintendent Lloyd Graham told trustees that several issues of
concern--including water infiltration, air quality, and structural damage-made
it uncertain as to whether or not students would be able to return to
Bayshore. The agendas for the Oct. 14
and Oct. 28 Board meetings also included specific time for public comments
following the reports on Bayshore. During
the Nov. 11 meeting, the Board approved Tellepsen Builders, L.P., to serve as
construction manager-agent and PBK Architects to provide architectural services
for the estimation of repairs needed at Bayshore.
On Dec. 3, a joint meeting of the
Board of Trustees, Citizens' Oversight Committee and Facilities Planning
Committee was held to provide information on the preliminary findings of
Tellepsen and PBK. The estimate for
Bayshore included repairs necessary due to Hurricane Ike as well as required
Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades and replacement of mechanical and/or
building systems at the practical ends of their life cycles.
The estimate for
repairing/renovating Bayshore was approximately $8.5 million. With this option, Bayshore students could
possibly return to the campus with the start of the 2009-2010 school year;
however, future concerns about flooding would remain. The current building elevation is 10 feet
above sea level, he explained.
The estimated cost for land
acquisition and construction of a new school is $20 million, Graham said. The majority of the cost of the construction
of a new Bayshore could be covered by $10.3 million in unallocated funds from
the 2005 bond issue as well as $2 million in bond funds allocated for Bayshore
Although the district also is
pursuing FEMA and insurance dollars for Bayshore, a portion of the 2005 bond
program funds will need to be reallocated for the new campus. However, Graham
noted that increasing the Bayshore capacity will delay any immediate need for
Board agenda for the Dec. 16 meeting also included specific time for public
comment. After hearing comments, the
Board then voted unanimously to replace the school rather than repair the
current facility. Trustees authorized
Graham to negotiate the purchase of property, subject to Board approval,
specifying that the new location should
be west of Old Highway 146/Broadway, east of new Highway 146, north of
Shoreacres Blvd., and south of Fairmont Parkway.
The disrtict's decision to relocate
Bayshore was not taken lightly, Graham said.
"We considered a wide variety of options to
serve our Bayshore students, including using the capacity of previously planned
additions to permanently rezone students to other LPISD schools, renovating the
current facility, and rebuilding Bayshore either on the current site or a
different one. Ultimately, we felt that
the best decision for our Bayshore students, and for our district as a whole, was
to serve our patrons in the Shoreacres/south La Porte area with this new facility."
Although plans for the current
Bayshore site are uncertain, Graham said that he wanted to reassure residents
that LPISD will not be repurposing the facility as any type of warehouse or
storage facility, nor will the building be left to deteriorate. The district is discussing other uses for the
site with municipal representatives, and Graham asked those in attendance at
the Jan. 8 Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee meeting to
consider ideas for the site.
"Bayshore has a long, proud history,
in some cases serving generations of our La Porte ISD families, and it grieves
us all that Ike has claimed her as a victim," Graham continued. "It has been noted along the way that what
makes Bayshore special is the people who nurture the children that go to school
there-our teachers, staff, and volunteers. Indeed, Bayshore is a close-knit family
focused on educational excellence, and we are looking forward to continuing the
traditions of Bayshore in its new home."