In a move made just a day before the end of the school year, EPISD Board President Trent Hatch, along with leadership from the El Paso American Federation of Teachers, announced they will be looking into the closure of schools in order to balance the 2018-2019 budget.
“We’ve gone to the point where we have to consider campus closures,” Hatch said.
Though no campuses were named, Hatch said the district will evaluate which schools are currently 65% or less in student enrollment capacity before deciding which, if any, will be consolidated or closed.
Prior to the 2017 bond election, EPISD conducted a State of School Facilities Report in 2015. The Jacobs Report identified campuses which will have a projected utilization rate of under 65% by 2019.
Some of those campuses were named as consolidated campuses as part of the bond project and others were left on the table as possibilities for later closure or consolidation.
Nearly all of EPISD’s Middle Schools were projected to be under a 65% utilization rate by 2019.
- Aoy Elementary – 54%
- Beall Elementary – 65%
- Cooley Elementary – 61%
- Green Elementary – 54%
- Guerrero Elementary – 65%
- Logan Elementary – 49%
- Newman Elementary – 63%
- Rusk Elementary – 59%
- Zach White Elementary – 59%
- Armendariz Middle – 64%
- Brown Middle – 43%
- Canyon Hills Middle – 55%
- Charles Middle – 51%
- Guillen Middle – 62%
- Magoffin Middle – 55%
- Morehead Middle – 53%
None of EPISD’s ten high school campuses were projected to be under the 65% threshold, but the facilities report did not differentiate between Silva Health Magnet and Jefferson High School enrollment numbers.
In February 2015, rumors for a plan to consolidate Jefferson and Bowie High School campuses in order to sell existing land on the Jefferson campus to University Medical Center and Texas Tech University Health Science Center was dismissed by EPISD, just one month before the Jacob’s Report was released.
The district previously closed and consolidated nearly a dozen schools as part of its 2016 bond project. Within four years, EPISD will combine Hughey Elementary and nearby Ross Middle School in Central El Paso into a K-8th grade school that will be renamed Coach Wally Hartley PK-8.
Northeast EPISD schools were particularly affected with consolidations in the 2017 bond project with the announcement that Henderson Middle and Clardy Elementary Schools will be combined into Dr. Josefina Tinajero PK-8.
Schuster, Dowell, and Crosby Elementary will be combined into a single campus which will be named Coach Archie Duran Elementary. Fannin and Bradley Elementary will also be consolidated into Dr. Joseph Torres Elementary.
Terrace Hills Middle and Collins Elementary in Northeast will also be combined, but a name for the new school has not yet been determined.
Lincoln Middle, Bond and Roberts Elementary in West El Paso will be renamed Coach Don Haskins PK-8.
Other consolidations include MacArthur Intermediate and Bonham Elementary in East El Paso, Morehead Middle and Johnson Elementary in West El Paso. Names for those consolidated campuses have yet to be named.
EPISD will hold community discussions after the scheduled Board of Trustees meeting on June 21st to help identify campuses which could be affected.