Athens schools may have to be expanded for new students over the next few years.

Athens ISD Assistant Superintendent Mike Green said in a regular meeting Thursday night that campus student capacities across the district are expected to be exceeded within two years.

The current district enrollment is 3,437 students. According to Green, the baseline enrollment is expected to increase to 4,209 students in the 2010-2011 school year. The baseline enrollment is projected at 4,426 students by 2014-2015.

Green said a typical school campus needs to be expanded about 40 years after construction. Many of the district campuses were built in the 1960s, and R.C. Fisher was built in 1958.

“I think we’re getting close to our 40 years on a lot of these buildings,” he said.

Green also announced the goals of a facilities plan task force. The duties of the task force will include reviewing campuses for structural problems and filing reports with administrators.

Green presented a list of known structural problems at each campus — such as undersized classrooms at R.C. Fisher and inadequate parking at R.C. Fisher, South Athens Elementary and Bel Air Elementary — and highlighted problems that should be fixed immediately. He said the biggest priorities include replacing locks on all the campuses, making sure doors are approved for fire safety and replacing the boiler on the south end of the Athens High School campus, among other issues.

AISD has also been paid for improving the district’s energy efficiency in 2006. A check for $1,050 was brought before the school board for the district’s participation in TXU’s Texas Schools Conserving Resources (Texas SCORE) Program.

SCORE offers financial incentives for school districts to use less energy, such as by replacing lighting and air conditioning units with more efficient models.

Glenn Garland, a CLEAResult Consulting representative who presented the check, complimented AISD Business Manager Randy Jones for his support of SCORE.

“Your staff’s doing a great job,” Garland said at the meeting. “We’re here to help any way that we can.”

Other agenda items, all approved unanimously, included:

• the authorization of the sale of 26.4 acres of district property. The land, which has fronts on Bunny Rabbit and Douglas roads, was acquired by the district in 1989;

• the purchase of 110 new Athens High School band uniforms at a cost of $42,000 or less. The uniforms will be made of polyester and will have an expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years; and

• approval of the Athens Middle School Prude Ranch trip. The trip will be March 3-10 and will be open to 38 eighth graders who meet specific academic and behavioral goals.

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e-mail dgordon@athensreview.com

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