By Betsy Dolan
Fort Bend ISD’s inaugural Building Utilization Committee (BUC) has proposed four school boundary changes for the 2012-2013 school year. Those changes were discussed at the first of three public meetings on May 23 at Sartartia Middle School in New Territory.
The first change would transfer 12 students who live in the Long Meadow Farms subdivision from Oakland Elementary to Pecan Grove Elementary. Oakland Elementary is expected to be over capacity by 307 students prior to the opening of the district’s new elementary school #46 in August of 2014.
“Long Meadow Farms is going to continue to grow”, Stacey Matejka, a BUC member told the audience. “That subdivision is expected to have 120 students when the build out is done. Oakland simply cannot accommodate that many students.”
The BUC also recommended attendance boundary changes to help ease projected overcrowding issues at Cornerstone Elementary. The Central Prison Unit, which has zero students after it was closed by the state last August, will move from Cornerstone Elementary to Lakeview Elementary. The 50 students who are expected to live in the proposed apartments in the Telfair subdivision would attend Colony Meadows Elementary rather than Cornerstone.
“Cornerstone is at capacity and is expected to grow while Colony Meadows has room for 217 additional students,” Matejka said. In addition, the BUC suggested moving the Central Prison Unit site from Sartartia Middle School to Garcia Middle School in order to align the feeder patterns with the Lakeview Elementary.
The final recommendation from the BUC would move students living in the Stonebrook at Riverstone subdivision from Schiff Elementary to Palmer Elementary School. Schiff is expected to be over capacity by 256 students in 2014 due to growth in Sienna Plantation.
“The driving distance between Stonebrook and the two schools is virtually the same,” said Matejka. “Schiff would be able to handle Sienna’s growth until a new campus could be built.”
The BUC also recommended that the new middle school #15 open in August of 2015.
There were very few questions from the audience pertaining to the four proposed boundary changes. Some did question the fairness with how the BUC was formed. Chief Auxiliary Services Officer, Ben Copeland, assured the audience that steps to ensure integrity and equality were taken in the formation of the BUC, which is in its first year. Copeland said that the committee is comprised of FBISD administrators and all members of the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees in addition to seven parents or legal guardians of students representing both the east and west sides of the district.
There is one more public meeting regarding the four proposed school boundary changes. The next meeting will be Wednesday, May 30, 6:30 – 7:45 p.m. at Travis High School, 11111 Harlem Road in Richmond.