A little more than four years after Laredo ISD began the construction and renovations of several schools and support facilities, the work is nearly complete. The construction projects which include Dovalina Elementary School, Heights Elementary School, Kawas Elementary School, Nixon High School JROTC Building, Cigarroa Middle School and Cigarroa High School were funded by a $150 million bond proposition approved by LISD voters in May, 2018.
Changing the landscape in West Laredo is the construction of Dovalina Elementary School’s new campus located along the riverbanks of the Rio Grande River at 1700 W. Anna Ave. Finishing touches are being added to the interior library space, hallways, and restrooms. The new $14.9 million facility will feature 21 instructional classrooms, two computer labs, a science lab, Library Media Center, a fine arts classroom, music classroom, and two self-contained classrooms. Dovalina Elementary School was designed by Design Group International Architects and is being built by Leyendecker Construction. The new campus is expected to be fully complete by March of 2023. Students will be receiving their instruction in the new setting during the 2023-2024 school year.
“I am elated and anxiously awaiting the grand opening of this new state of the art campus for Anita T. Dovalina Elementary School,” said Dr. Karla Pena, Dovalina Elementary School Principal. “We are part of a proud historical community in the Ladrillera area, and these new facilities bring forth a new era of innovation and progress. Our students, teachers, and staff are eager to open the doors of these new facilities and continue our educational journey alongside our community.”
At Heights Elementary, the district is adding four new classrooms, a new library, as well as an expanded teacher parking lot. Work on the front façade of the new library and connecting hallways to the existing building is in progress. The additions and renovations were designed by Design Group International and are being constructed by Summit Building and Design. The project will cost $3,091,580.00 and will be completed by April, 2023.
Kawas Elementary Schools is currently under construction at its original location at 2100 S. Milmo Ave. Exterior brickwork is currently underway. The new campus will feature 31 instructional classrooms from Pre-K - fifth grade, three computer labs, two science labs, a music room, cafeteria and full kitchen prep, administrative offices, library media center, gymnasium, nurses’ station, drop off/pick up lanes for students, parking lot improvements, security fencing and facility access control, covered canopies, and playground. The new Kawas Elementary School was designed by Cavazos Architects and is being built by Leyendecker Construction.
A new stand-alone JROTC Building is being constructed at Nixon High School. The project footprint has been poured. Concrete masonry unit block, exterior brickwork, interior walls, window installation, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work are currently in progress. The new JROTC Building will include instructional classrooms, offices, shooting range, weight room area, covered training area, and storage rooms. The LISD Construction Department and Cavazos Architects designed the building which is being built by Leyendecker Construction. The new $2.5M JROTC Building will be completed by April, 2023.
“As our District continues to expand opportunities for our students, we must continue to meet those needs by constructing facilities for all our new programs and provide an enriched educational experience along with activities possible,” said LISD Board of Trustee President, Monica Garcia.
The last bond projects, which are already underway, include the reconstruction of Cigarroa Middle School and renovations to Cigarroa High School.
The new Cigarroa Middle School will be located at 3618 Ejido Road. in the Lomas Del Sur subdivision. The concrete floor for the gymnasium was recently poured. The new 250,000 square feet campus which sits on 23 acres of property will feature a three-story academic building with two wings each for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classes. The campus will also have a boys and girls gymnasium with restrooms, lockers, weight rooms, and cheerleading and dance studio areas and its own cafeteria for 450 students with additional outdoor seating. The students will have access to a new band hall/fine arts area that will include orchestra ensemble, band hall rehearsal, choir area, storage and multiple sound-proof practice areas, a library with a lecture hall and computer lab, and a special education and life skills wing. The new school is designed by Sepulveda Associates and is being built by Leyendecker Construction. Cigarroa Middle School will be completed by December, 2025.
Cigarroa High School, which is already under construction, will be completed in two phases. Phase 1 will include a new two-story facility that will replace the existing academic wings, vocational classrooms, and administration offices. Phase 1 will be completed by Winter, 2023.
“As a former student of Cigarroa High School, I’m so thrilled about the renovations and construction in our south Laredo campuses, which is long overdue,” said Garcia.
Over at Nixon High School, the new Johnny Mayers Vocational and Agricultural Building was constructed. The total cost of this project was $10.8 million. The new Vocational and Agricultural Building includes a new Auto Technology Shop, Auto Collision Shop, Carpentry Shop, Cosmetology Lab, Meat Processing Lab, and Agriculture and Welding Shop. Each shop has its own instructional classroom adjacent to it.
At Martin High School the new Estella Quintanilla Multi-Purpose Building was built. The $5.9M two-story Science and Culinary Arts Building has a multi-use student gathering atrium and a culinary arts lab with a full commercial kitchen and classrooms. The other side of the atrium will house a spacious dance studio for cheer and tumbling practices. The ample new studio also doubles as a contemporary dance teaching facility. The second floor houses the science classrooms and a robotics and technology lab.
The district recently opened a newly constructed Instructional Technology Training Center on Cedar Ave. where district employees receive the latest technology training available. The new Training Center was designed by Sepulveda Associates Architects and was built by Cobalt Construction. The cost of the new center was $1,826,633.00.