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KennethColeSRG

NEW Bryan high school is trouble

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8352_600.jpgBryan trustees approve school design plan

By HOLLY HUFFMAN

Eagle Staff Writer

Bryan school trustees on Monday approved general design plans for an over-budget Rudder High School despite worries that they could be $2 million short after completing all projects outlined in last year's bond package.

The new high school, scheduled to open in fall 2008, was the largest and most costly project called for under the $104 million bond package that voters approved in February 2005. The original price tag for the school was set at $42.6 million....

Link to full story.... http://www.theeagle.com/stories/032106/sch...20060321003.php

Once again the highly ineffective BISD school board and administration is getting the district into a mess with the new high school. All of this could have been avoided a decade ago if the district had instead of turning Bryan High into a monster compound had gone ahead and did the logical thing and built a second high school.

As I posted before, I was a member of the committee of students and citizens back in 1995 charged with looking into the issues of overcrowding at BHS and making recommendations as to what the disctrict should do. I can personally report that the one and only reason the school board did not go ahead with greenlighting a new school in 1996 was sorely for the fact that at the time the construction of a new shcool built to be comparable with BHS would have knocked the older school out of its District5A status in state athletic competitions.

That's right...the education and long-range planning of the future of the largest employer in the city was based on keeping the high school football team in the big leagues. Subsequently BHS was expanded to the size of a junior college with the initial haribrained scheme cooked up by the administration of treating the old building and the new building as two sepearte campuses, Blue and Silver. Of course as is the case with all the silly plots the BISD officals come up with, this plan fairly quickly failed and within two years of the massive expansion BHS was once again facing overcrowding, something that the board knew would happen when it pushed through the plan.

Edited by KennethColeSRG

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Once again the highly ineffective BISD school board and administration is getting the district into a mess with the new high school. All of this could have been avoided a decade ago if the district had instead of turning Bryan High into a monster compound had gone ahead and did the logical thing and built a second high school. As I posted before, I was a member of the committee of students and citizens back in 1995 charged with looking into the issues of overcrowding at BHS and making recommendations as to what the disctrict should do. I can personally report that the one and only reason the school board did not go ahead with greenlighting a new school in 1996 was sorely for the fact that at the time the construction of a new shcool built to be comparable with BHS would have knocked the older school out of its District5A status in state athletic competitions. That's right...the education and long-range planning of the future of the largest employer in the city was based on keeping the high school football team in the big leagues. Subsequently BHS was expanded to the size of a junior college with the initial haribrained scheme cooked up by the administration of treating the old building and the new building as two sepearte campuses, Blue and Silver. Of course as is the case with all the silly plots the BISD officals come up with, this plan fairly quickly failed and within two years of the massive expansion BHS was once again facing overcrowding, something that the board knew would happen when it pushed through the plan.

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While I completely agree that the Bryan ISD Board of Trustees of the late 90's failed the citizenry of Bryan and the Bryan School District by enlarging Bryan High when it was obvious to most that another high school was in order, I'm not so quick to condemn the current board and their plans for another high school. Bryan High was bursting at the seems then and that was with the 9th grade, separate & "dreaded" Lamar campus. A very close relative was a staff member at Lamar at the time and when she heard of the district's plans for an enlarged Bryan High she promptly announced retirement to take effect the summer before the new campus was ready. Everyone agrees that an enlarged Bryan High was not the best alternative. However, I've spoken with at least one member of the then board who said, quite frankly, that Bryan ISD simply could not afford another high school. Deflation in property values in Bryan coupled with the flight of affluent families in Bryan to neighboring College Station left them cripped to do much else other than add on. This saved quite a bit of money in that they saved on building larger libraries, cafeterias, etc, building duplicate athletic facilities (for which Bryan has been recognized), buying more land, etc. Don't get me wrong. I think the current BHS is a horrible mistake but we have to deal with it and the current board is doing the best they can. Let us remember that not one person currently on the board of trustees was there 10 years ago, neither was the superintendent. Additionally, I wished (along with many) that they'd chosen a West Bryan location for HS #2 but all demographic studies pointed to east Bryan and north east Brazos County as the creator of the majority of growth in the district over the next decade.

It appears that increases in construction costs have forced the board to cut back some of the plans for the new school. But, at least according to this article, the cuts they've made to date are in hallways & mechanical areas. They haven't had to cut any criticle areas yet. I only hope they move on with construction b/c costs are only going to continue to increase. I truly hope and feel that a new high school in east Bryan will spur a great deal of growth. It has to to surpass the damage done to Bryan by the detrimental, yet necessary, decisions of past boards.

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New controversies have erupted over the future Rudder High...

First a battle is quickly shaping up over how attendance zones will be set up for the high school...

Bryan ISD looks at attendance zone issues

By HOLLY HUFFMAN

Eagle Staff Writer

Bryan school trustees clashed Thursday while debating the need for high school attendance boundaries to determine who will attend Rudder High School when it opens in fall 2008.

Most trustees and administrators seemed to prefer creation of an attendance zone that would coincide with a liberal transfer policy that would allow students to change schools if they wanted to enroll in a program not offered at their home campus.

Link to full story.....http://www.theeagle.com/stories/051906/schools_20060519028.php

On another front, BISD has announced that the school is three million dollars over budget, and the community is now up in arms over how to cut the deficit with factions warring over whether to cut the auditorium and charges that once again the district is favoring athletics above everything else...

Auditorium plans shelved for Rudder High

By HOLLY HUFFMAN

Eagle Staff Writer

With cost estimates for Rudder High School hovering at about $3 million over budget, Bryan school trustees agreed Monday to pull the auditorium from the main plans for the new campus.

Architects still will plan for an auditorium at the yet-to-be-built school, but it now will be considered an "alternate" option, Bryan school officials said. That means trustees can wait until campus cost estimates are finalized in September before deciding whether to proceed with construction of the facility.

link to full story.... http://www.theeagle.com/stories/060606/sch...20060606011.php

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New controversies have erupted over the future Rudder High...

First a battle is quickly shaping up over how attendance zones will be set up for the high school...

Really, I think this is going to be a mess. Unless the schools are made distinct enough (e.g. with different programs/emphases), and students are given some choice (i.e. creating a balance via competition of a sort), they're not going to be able to maintain "parity" with each other, no matter how hard they try to even out the socioeconomic balance at first. It might not be immediate, but the schools will begin to form reputations, likely with one being "better" than the other in various categories, and people will move accordingly, thereby reinforcing the stereotype. This already happens in elementary schools, and between Bryan and College Station (I know more than one person who is moving from Bryan to CS as their kids finish elementary school, since CS's middle and high schools are seen as better places for college-bound students).

On another front, BISD has announced that the school is three million dollars over budget, and the community is now up in arms over how to cut the deficit with factions warring over whether to cut the auditorium and charges that once again the district is favoring athletics above everything else...

One thing I really don't get - if athletics is so important to BISD, then why isn't Bryan High any better at them than it is? I don't follow this very closely, but I think they've been regularly beaten (during the time I've been here) in football by A&M Consolidated in College Station - a smaller school with a much stronger academic reputation.

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