Q: What is the timeline of the construction project?
A: Following almost two years of planning and design work, ground was broken in late May 2020. Construction of the school will take approximately 14 months. The school, which will have capacity for 850 students, is scheduled to open for the 2021-22 school year.
Q: When will attendance zones be decided?
A: In order to have the most up-to-date and accurate data available, the district will wait until the spring of 2021 to finalize attendance zones. Opportunities for community input will be included in the process.
Q: Where on the property is the school?
A: DSISD owns 155 acres on the south side of Darden Hill Road, just east of Sawyer Ranch Road. The location for the new elementary school is the southwest corner of that property.
Q: Where will entrance from the road be located?
A: The district has been working closely with Hays County regarding plans for road improvements to Darden Hill Road, and how those plans will relate to the school entrance. The county has announced that a roundabout is planned for the intersection of Darden Hill and Sawyer Ranch Road. Based on that information, the entrance to the school will be one of the branches off the roundabout.
Q: What is the expected impact on traffic?
A: Both the district and Hays County had professional traffic studies done; the county’s was broader in scope. The studies looked at current traffic patterns and considered traffic volume associated with similarly sized DSISD elementary schools during drop-off and pick-up hours. The addition of the roundabout at the intersection of Darden Hill and Sawyer Ranch will aid traffic flow at this intersection and entering and exiting the campus.
Q: Will Dark Sky requirements be followed?
A: Yes, lighting for the school property will be Dark Sky compliant. Because this is an elementary school, there will not be any lit playing fields.
Q: What is the barrier between the closest neighbors (Enchanted Oak Drive) and the school?
A: The elementary school building will be about 200 feet from the property line of the west side of the school site (towards Enchanted Oaks Drive) and at least 100 feet to the drive on the west side of the hill. There are trees that form a natural barrier along much of the border.
Q: What other buildings will eventually be built on the property?
A: That remains to be seen, but the property is large enough for a middle school and a high school to be added at some point in the future. The district has started community conversations about the future of high school(s) in the district; these conversations will continue as part of the long-range facility planning process during the 2020-21 school year. A feasibility study done in 2019 had shown the possibility of a Transportation facility being placed on that site, but that is no longer being discussed.
Q: How will drainage be addressed?
A: The district and our architect have worked with our civil engineers to study drainage on the site to ensure that everything necessary is being done to manage storm water.