SISD breaks ground on Eastlake combo elementary, middle school in El Paso

Socorro ISD officials broke ground on a new Eastlake combination elementary and middle school Thursday morning, which is meant to alleviate the rapid growth of students at Eastside schools.

The project is part of a $448.5 million bond passed by voters in 2017 for SISD to build two new elementary schools and one new middle school, reconstruct Socorro High School and make improvements to Americas, El Dorado and Montwood High Schools.

“This is a such a fast-growing area of our district and there’s already crowding at many of the other fine schools in this area, so it’s essential that we continue to provide adequate space for all the new families who want make Team SISD their district of choice,” said James Kotter, vice chair of the 2017 bond accountability committee, which provides oversight of bond projects on behalf of taxpayers.

Socorro Independent School District staff and board members prepare to break ground at the ceremony for the planned Eastlake elementary and middle combo school in far East El Paso on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.
SISD Superintendent Jose Espinoza said a good student capacity number for elementary schools is 800.

The new combo school will help alleviate Sue Shook Elementary School, which has 1,100 students, Drugan School and Col. John O. Ensor Middle School. The new middle school will feed into nearby Eastlake High School.

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Espinoza said combo schools are a useful tactic to tackle overflow issues at schools with larger student populations, so students can attend schools closer to their own neighborhoods. Students will also attend school closer to home, for longer, he said.

“Our school district continues to grow,” Espinoza said. “While it’s exciting, it’s also a challenging time when you see all these homes that are being built here in our school district. We have to make sure as school district are responsible and that we keep up with the growth.”

This is not the first combination school in SISD; Butler Elementary and Puentes Middle School, as well as Clark Middle School and Sierra Vista Elementary Schools are also combo facilities.

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A naming committee will be formed before potential names are brought before the SISD board of trustees for approval.

The new $60 million facility will cover more than 294,400 square feet on 35 acres with split cafeterias, a shared kitchen and a shared library.

“We’ll have up-to-date technology, open classrooms, we’ll have collaborative learning spaces, there will be some career and technology programs in the middle school, of course, the middle school will have the athletics but the elementary schools will have the collaborative learning environment,” said Tom Eyeington, SISD Chief Operation Officer.

The facility is being designed by Mijares-Mora Architects and is being built by Banes General Contractors.

The elementary school will have the capacity for 800 students and the middle school will be able to accommodate 1,000 students. This will be the 50th and 51st schools in the Socorro ISD.

The elementary school will be completed in July 2022 and the middle school will be finished December 2022, Eyeington said.

All of SISD’s bond program construction projects can be found on the district’s website.


EPISD unveils revamped Burges High School to kick off homecoming

El Paso Independent School District hosted a ribbon cutting for the second most expensive construction project part of the district’s 2016 school bond—Burges High School —on Friday to kick off the school’s homecoming events.

Students, faculty and alumni gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the completed project as part of the school’s homecoming celebrations on Friday.

As part of the school’s homecoming activities, a parade and assembly were held on Tuesday. It followed by the football game on Friday night, and ended with the homecoming dance on Saturday night, district spokesperson Gustavo Reveles said.

El Paso Independent School District hosted a ribbon cutting for the second most expensive construction project part of the district’s 2016 school bond. In this photo, school administrators tour the school on Friday Oct. 1, 2021.
The district first broke ground on the Burges campus at 7800 Edgemere Blvd. in May 2019, intending to finish the project in fall 2021.

Burges High School had the second-highest budget, at $57.8 million, of all construction projects part of the district’s 2016 bond after Coronado High School, which has a budget of $68.2 million and is not yet completed.

El Paso voters approved a $668.8 million bond program in 2016 for EPISD to consolidate certain schools and invest in athletic facilities, security measures, safety, instructional technology, and school buses.

Voters approved the bond to “help modernize facilities and to right size the number of campuses the District operates based on updated enrollment figures,” according to a district news release from earlier this week.

The modernization project at Burges included a new two-story building addition that houses science labs, new classrooms, fine arts facilities, and the most significant black box theater in El Paso.

“The new construction transformed the campus and created modern learning spaces conducive to 21st learning techniques being used in the District,” according to the district release.

El Paso Independent School District hosted a ribbon cutting for the second most expensive construction project part of the district’s 2016 school bond. In this photo Joel Valencia, a facilitator with the school district inspects a locker room.
The project also included a new campus courtyard and renovations to at least two buildings. The school also received bond funds for athletic upgrades like new football turf and a new softball field, which is still under construction.

The bond projects were designed by MNK Group architects, with Banes General Contractors overseeing the work.

EPISD also announced the new principal at Burges on Friday, Jason Yturralde, who was principal at Ross Middle School since 2012 and Ross and Henderson Middle School since 2018.

Yturralde was also previously principal at Coldwell Elementary and assistant principal at the former Alta Vista Elementary. The EPISD board voted to close Alta Vista, Beall, Burleson and Schuster in May 2019 and consolidate them with other schools.


Socorro ISD hosts groundbreaking ceremony for Student Activity Complex II

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — The Socorro Independent School District held a groundbreaking ceremony for a second Student Activity Complex.

The new facility will include a new athletic field, concession areas, locker rooms, offices and conference rooms for athletics and fine arts.

The facility is expected to help with scheduling sports and extracurricular activities.

“I think having a second SAC available will just increase the opportunity and ease of scheduling for such a large and growing district,” said SISD Superintendent Dr. Nate Carman.

“By building this other facility and we’ll have our evening games staggered, like I said so, we shouldn’t have any doubleheaders, I’m not saying we’ll have, we might have some but it will alleviate that problem of taking students out of the classroom,” said Tom Eyeington, chief operation officer for SISD.

The new facility is expected to have a capacity of 6,500 people.

The SAC II will serve various athletic and special event activities for students and staff across the district.

The District building at Socorro ISD’s Student Activity Complex IICredit: Socorro ISD

The Socorro ISD superintendent, board of trustees, administrators, and some students were among the attendees at the ceremony.

The SAC II is part of the SISD Bond 2017 program.

Banes General Contractors was awarded the $58.9 million contract to build the facility which is expected to be complete in 2024.

HKS Architects designed the new activity complex.

A New destination building at Socorro ISD’s Student Activity Complex IICredit: Socorro ISD

The new complex will be located near the existing SAC.

Eyeington said the district is planning on another project that will involved the construction of an amphitheater in between the two facilities.

“So we can have productions and things going on in an amphitheater setting,” said Eyeington.