YISD studies reveal some campuses 'under capacity'

YISD studies reveal some campuses 'under capacity'

POSTED: Monday, July 7, 2014 - 10:20pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 9:20am

Ysleta Independent School District leaders received a mixed bag of good and bad news at a special board of trustees meeting Monday night.

The preliminary results of two different studies commissioned by the district were presented.

One study took a look at YISD's declining enrollment. The district currently serves roughly 43,000 students, but that number is expected to drop by 300-400 for the coming school year.

Still, the study, put together by Texas-based firm Templeton Demographics, showed that growth in far Northeast El Paso could stop the bleeding within the next decade.

"The enrollment data seems to indicate that the district may have lost enrollment over the last five-year period, but it has stabilized; it's plateaued," said YISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre.

The second study, prepared by the Texas-based assessment group Jacobs with the help of El Paso's ECM International, took a look at Ysleta's facilities.

The study group visited 60 YISD campuses and found that 70% of the district's buildings are 25 years or older.

At Monday’s meeting, a representative from Jacobs told the trustees that he estimates the district would need to spend $72 million to fix the current problems, and another $161 million over the next five years.

Both studies also found that some campuses are far below their capacities. One campus mentioned several times was Riverside High School.

De La Torre was quick to dismiss any speculation of school consolidations as "premature."

"I think it's irresponsible until the board gets a chance to consider all options," he said.

"There are some schools that are far below their capacity and that would require some significant resources to re-modernize or even rebuild, in some cases, so that certainly has to be a part of the conversation," De La Torre told NewsChannel 9.

The superintendent said the population study cost the district about $70,000, while the facilities study cost more than $500,000.

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