McKinney ISD file

McKinney ISD will likely need a new elementary school by 2023, said Greg Suttle, Facilities Services and Construction executive director, during a district board of trustees meeting Tuesday.

Suttle asked the board to approve sending out a request for qualification for architectural services, a preliminary move towards building a new elementary school in the northern part of the district.

Demographic projections have previously indicated quick growth for the northern area, Suttle said. While that has somewhat slowed down, he said, it does look like schools in the north are looking at being over-capacity as a result of growth. That means in fall 2023, the district would likely need a new elementary school he said. In order for that to become a reality, the process would need to begin now, he said.

In a projected timeline, Suttle said the board could approve a firm by December or January, and construction would begin in September 2021. According to Suttle’s timeline, construction could be completed by May 2023 to allow the school to open in August of that same year.

However, Suttle said, some conditions must be met in order for all of those steps to become a reality in that time frame.

“Number one, the demographer has to be right and that COVID doesn’t affect our in-person school,” he told the board. “The other thing is the bond would have to pass that we’re looking at next May, or we wouldn’t be able to build this school.”

If the district is off by a year, Suttle said, it would have room to wait.

“We would just put it in the drawer, wait another year,” he said. “We know the north is growing. There’s developments up there. People are moving in.”

The worst-case scenario, he said, would be looking at Fall of 2024.

“But we’ll be ready,” he said. “The only way to be ready for Fall of 2023 is if we start now.”

Suttle also said there would be revisions to how the school would look as compared to previously-built MISD elementary schools. It has been 10 years since the district last built an elementary school, he said.

“There are things I like about different schools, and I think we can combine those and come up with a school that we like,” he said.

The board approved issuing the request for qualifications.

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