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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.

Source: https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2021/01/15/el-paso-schools-sisd-breaks-ground-eastlake-combo-elementary-middle-school/4145535001/