In his “Share the Vision” presentation on Wednesday evening in the Bob Lesley Gymnasium at Eastwood High School, YISD superintendent Dr. Xavier De la Torre outlined his wide-ranging revitalization plan for the district in general, with specific focus on the Eastwood feeder pattern. He emphasized the need to tailor the facilities to the demands of a district population that has declined in enrollment. Currently, across the district, there are approximately 17,000 empty seats. At any given time, over 30 percent of district classrooms are empty. "That is one in every three classrooms," De la Torre explained, "that we still have to light, cool, heat, and insure."
De la Torre presented the findings of the recent facilities assessment, explained the financial need for the renovation of each campus, then outlined his vision to restructure and rebuild campuses. He went on to say that spending the minimum amount to renovate campuses would only guarantee about five years of quality facilities at those in the worst states of disrepair, so in the long run, it would be much wiser to completely demolish and rebuild these sites.
He added that he is very committed to giving every student in our district access to the best facilities possible, explaining also that when a community’s schools go bad, all parents who can move to a neighborhood with more effective schools WILL do so. He feels that this bond is vital to keeping our neighborhoods vital and thriving.
Finally, De la Torre detailed his plan to replace Eastwood High’s present campus with a new, state-of-the-art facility, perhaps three or four stories high in order to maximize the utilization of the available acreage. With the current physical plant operating at full capacity, the cost to renovate and repair would be approximately $18.9 million, while a new facility which should be able to last decades before needing major renovation. Jokingly, he said that renovation would essentially be “putting lipstick on a pig.”
The continuing district commitment to extra-curricular activities and fine arts was also covered, as he suggested that a new facility could be constructed on the site of present Indian Ridge Middle School to accommodate tennis, golf, swimming and other activities.