The Ysleta Independent School District has been hard at work in beginning the first projects as part of the 2015 Bond program. Since voters in the Ysleta community approved the bond in November 2015, YISD has made tremendous strides toward significantly improving its facilities, campus security, and technology in 2016.
Just in time for football season, the installation of artificial surfaces at all seven high school stadiums was completed. The fields were designed to match the colors, mascots, and traditions of each campus while providing a safe and durable playing surface for student-athletes.
In addition, new visitor management systems were also installed at all YISD campuses. The new system utilizes a touchscreen monitor and two-way intercom outside the school’s main entrance, which allows staff to screen visitors before they enter. After entering the front office, visitors must provide an ID card and wear a printed visitors badge to access the campus. This process ensures that schools are able to verify a visitor’s identity and reason for visiting at the front office before entering the rest of the building.
Also part of the bond, technology upgrades were made to YISD’s network that increased the system bandwidth to 10 gigabytes while also making updates to its wireless connectivity. The upgrade allows for more digital devices to connect to the network at the same time and still experience a fast internet connection.
Bond funds were also used to address structural deficiencies at Riverside Middle School and Constance Hulbert Elementary School, as well as provide new lighting for high school baseball and softball fields and upgrade the gym floor and bleachers at Del Valle High School.
By the end of 2016, the next set of bond projects officially began, including the construction of new schools and renovations.
Construction of the new Bel Air Middle School is underway, and is expected to open in Fall 2018. The three-story facility will have capacity for 1,200 students and will include STEM labs, fine arts classes, and support spaces for athletics in addition to 21st-century classrooms.
In the Riverside area, YISD also began construction of the new Thomas Manor Elementary School. The state-of-the-art school will accommodate 900 students from Thomas Manor and Cadwallader elementary schools and will provide collaborative learning spaces and classrooms.
Renovations to Parkland Middle School also began in 2016. The project replaces the oldest parts of the current campus with new administration offices and classrooms, as well as infrastructure upgrades for roofing, restrooms, and HVAC systems.
The Del Valle Middle/Mission Valley Elementary combination school will house about 2,300 students in grades K-8. Each school will have its own classrooms and administration offices, but will share core spaces such as kitchen, library, and fine arts facilities to maximize economies of scale at the campus.
Other major projects include new gymnasiums and fine arts additions at Eastwood Knolls International School and Rio Bravo Middle Schools, as well as new kitchen and cafeteria spaces at Lancaster, LeBarron Park, Tierra Del Sol, and Desertaire elementary schools.
Also in 2016, design work began for the new Eastwood High School, the bond’s largest project. The new $93 million facility will add two- and three-story wings to replace oldest portions of campus, which dates back more than 50 years. Early designs include state-of-the-art classrooms, upgraded athletic facilities, a new fine arts wing, and an administration building.