This past Thursday, the Anna Independent School District board of trustees provided several updates on its ongoing construction with two schools. When asked about the progress on Judy Lindsey Harlow Elementary, Anna ISD's third elementary school, George DeJohn from Claycomb and Associates, an architect firm that specializes in design and services to Texas schools, said there is a lot of underground work.
“It is almost like a duck in a pond,” DeJohn said. “It looks calm and peaceful on the top of the water, but when you look underneath, the duck's legs are paddling like crazy.”
DeJohn said the underground plumbing and piping is finished. Even though progress was stalled a little due to waiting on permits, DeJohn said the tentative end date for finishing touches should be November, and the building should be ready to be moved into over the Christmas break. Anna Independent School District Superintendent Pete Slaughter said for the 2017 fall semester, students in the area of Harlow Elementary will utilize the Anna Early Childhood Center as a temporary location. This will keep the district from bringing in portable buildings to accommodate the overflow on the current elementary schools, and in turn, save money. Once construction is finished on the elementary and it is ready for action, the permanent Harlow Elementary location will be moved into over the Christmas break.
Anna Middle School's expansion is also doing well, officials said. The electrical and plumbing should be finished soon. DeJohn said those who are wondering about the different colored panels shouldn't worry. Even though some of the panels are more lightweight to save money, there are other panels included to keep the building structurally sound.
The school board also discussed the progress of the high school's baseball and softball complex. Slaughter said quite a bit is complete on the complex. For example, the turf, screens and mesh wiring, press box and bleachers are all complete. The concession stand and scoreboard are almost finished.
Jason Heath, Anna High School Athletic Director, said once the electrical is complete and a few minor things are done, the complex should ready for the season.
“I am confident the complex should be ready for the first softball game on Feb 14,” Heath said.
The tennis courts are also near completion, only lacking the school name and mascot logo.
Slaughter covered a few long-term goals, as well. The school board is currently searching for land to purchase for future projects; 20 acres for a possible elementary, 40 acres for middle school and 60 acres for a high school.
Due to the high school reaching capacity next school year, the school board is starting to plan for an expansion project. In the spring of 2017, the school board will begin strategizing to expand the high school to accommodate a capacity of 1800 students.