Austin’s housing crunch is forcing families out into the suburbs in search of affordable housing. Now Manor ISD is starting construction of three new schools to handle all the children from those families.
Thursday Manor ISD held a mass groundbreaking for all three schools, one of which is actually already under construction. These schools were approved in a 2014 school bond election so they’re in a hurry to get them online.
If you’ve driven past Manor New Technology High School on US 290 recently, you’ve seen a new building going up in the back. It’s actually one of three new schools being built, all of them built to last perhaps 50 years. Mike Brooks, the district’s facilities director says, “We’re looking at not having to do anything drastic at least on these three campus for 25 to 30 years.”
The first school to open in 2017 will be a new middle school. Brooks explains, “This campus is adjacent to our New Tech High School. So we’re putting a new tech middle school right across from it. So we’re trying to get the two programs to sort of dove tail together.”
The aptly named New Tech Middle School will prepare students to attend the Manor New Tech High School. That’s the school President Obama visited in 2013 to showcase how they teach 21st century skills. Principal Bobby Garcia says, “So at our campus we’re not just teaching them the state standards, we’re also teaching them critical thinking skills, we’re teaching them oral communication, written communication, we’re teaching them collaboration.”
There’s also a new elementary school being built. One that will work hard to get manor kids excited early about learning. Garcia explains, “We’re giving kids a second chance who maybe weren’t connected into school was about or really don’t get a good picture about how school fits into their lives, how it gets them from where they are to where they want to be.”
There’s also a new Manor senior high school in the mix to address the student population boom. Two of these schools will open in the next school year. The last one will open in the fall of 2018.