MISD superintendent calls bond package a tremendous opportunity

By Joshua Baethge
For the Anna-Melissa Tribune
Melissa ISD Superintendent Keith Murphy discussed the district’s bond proposal during a recent promotional video.

By Saturday night, Melissa residents should learn the fate of a $400 million bond package that would fund a new elementary school, new middle school and construction on the final phase of Melissa High School. It would also allow for new school busses, renovations to current facilities, an addition to the middle school and the construction of between three to five new elementary schools. These would be built as needed based on future growth.

Back in 2004, the district had only 649 students.  By 2021 that number had exploded up to 4,200 students. According to a recent demographic study by Davis Demographics, Melissa ISD will likely have 8,500 students by 2030.  However, its current maximum facility capacity is only 5,450. 

In response, school officials created the Melissa Vison 2034 plan to prepare for the class of students that will start kindergarten next school year and graduate in 2034. Superintendent Keith Murphy says that the bond election will help Melissa ISD meet its core value “integrity,” or as he puts it, the ability to last over time. 

“We’re at a position right now where we can establish a footprint for future generations in Melissa, and that's an exciting thing,” he says. “It’s a tremendous opportunity, but it is our responsibility to work together and create a great pathway for those kids to graduate.” 

Murphy adds that no matter the size of the district, he’s committed to maintaining the sense of the community he feels the city and school district have always had. Melissa ISD officials have worked with demographers to ensure that the city remains a one high school town for the foreseeable future, though there could be a ninth-grade center at some point. There could also be a virtual platform that would essentially sever as an alternative school for those who chose that path. 

“At the end of the day no matter which path we go we seem to go together,” Murphy says.