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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Construction to Start on Upgrades at Roosevelt Schools; Search for New Site Continues

The makeover on several outdated schools in the Roosevelt School District is set to begin thanks to the $60 million bond initiative passed in November 2007.

Six classrooms will be added at Bernard Black Elementary School and Southwest School. Cloves C. Campbell Sr. Elementary School will also receive six new classrooms and a band room. Amy L. Houston Academy is getting eight additional classrooms, while C. O. Greenfield School is slated for a new gymnasium.

Two of the district’s oldest schools – Percy L. Julian School and T. G. Barr School – are being torn down and rebuilt. Once finished, Julian will serve as a K-8 school, while students currently attending Sierra Vista will attend Barr after construction is complete. Sierra Vista Elementary School will become a preschool and include a focus on special education.

Dr. Mark Dowling, superintendent of the Roosevelt School District, says long-range planning also includes rebuilding Sierra Vista Elementary School.

“Right now the student populations at Sierra Vista, Barr, Julien and King are 350 to 400 students – they’re small schools and no longer justify leaving them the way they are,” he added.

The current Martin Luther King Elementary School will soon house the district’s Head Start program and a special education preschool.

According to Dowling, construction on the additions should be finished within the next year-and-a-half. The completion goal for the new schools – Julian and Barr – is August 2010.

In addition to the improvements at existing schools, the Roosevelt School District Governing Board approved a search for land to house a new school. The area being explored extends west of about 23rd Avenue between Baseline Road and a little north of Broadway Road.

“The west side school is being built to address anticipated growth in that area already witnessed by overcrowding at Bernard Black,” Dowling said.

Discussions are underway on four possible parcels. If a site is selected and a property owner agrees to sell, permission to negotiate a price is needed by the Governing Board.

The new school won’t likely open until 2011.

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