The Melissa City Council reviewed the project update for the Melissa High School expansion at its meeting on Nov. 8. Council Member Anthony Figueroa questioned the functional capacity of the plans for the new high school. He voiced his concerns about Anna High School’s large student population. Figueroa asked if Melissa would be able to maintain its status as a one high school town in the face of Anna Independent School District’s potential growth, as Melissa’s current enrollment of roughly 770 students is expected to expand exponentially over the upcoming years.
Speaking for the Melissa Independent School District, Executive Director of Operations Kenny Deel said the approximately 80 acres requested for the creation of a new high school would still allow Melissa to maintain its status as a one-high school town. Deel stated the new school is initially anticipated to house roughly 3,500 students. He added that there are plans in discussion for the possible future construction of a separate ninth grade center. The creation of such an edifice sometime in the next decade would allow for reduction of numbers in the main building, depending on how fast the town grows.
Deel stated that though the initial plan was for Melissa to remain a one high school town, this forecast was made when the entire population of Melissa was only about 3,000 residents. He voiced his uncertainty for the future of Melissa permanently remaining a one high school town due to unforeseeable population growth.
“We are aggressively seeking out land in our district to try to handle the growth (in) the foreseeable future,” he said.
The overall project will be multi-phased, including plans for extended parking, tennis courts, and a four-story academic building. Phase two of the project — which will expand the school in order to double the capacity for student enrollment — is estimated to come to fruition within the next four to five years.