FRISCO -- At the intersection of El Dorado Parkway and Frisco Street, construction crews are hard at work building a new high school.
Memorial High is one of four schools currently under construction in Frisco ISD, meant to help keep up with the district’s explosive growth and ease overcrowding at existing schools.
But Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Lyon said Thursday he would recommend the school board delays opening those schools for a year to help fill a budget gap during a presentation at a special meeting Thursday night.
The new schools include:
- Memorial High School, currently under construction at 12300 Frisco Street and intended to relieve Wakeland, Lone Star and Heritage high schools
- Lawler Middle School, currently under construction at 12921 Rolater Road and intended to relieve Vandeventer and Scoggins middle schools
- Talley Elementary, currently under construction at 5900 Coit Road and intended to relieve Curtsinger and McSpedden elementary schools
- Liscano Elementary, currently under construction at 11222 Mammoth Cave Lane and intended to relieve elementary schools in the northeast quadrant of the District
Delaying the opening would save the district up to $18 million, months after voters rejected a property tax increase and state funding dropped.
The district is expecting 2,500 new students to enroll next year, but believes it can stay under capacity without opening the new schools, Lyon said.
“It’s really important to note, we need these schools,” he said. “The question is, can we delay the opening of these schools and get by with that?”
But parents like Kim Keller wonder what that will mean for her son, who is slated to attend Wakeland High School next year. It’s one of the schools Memorial High School was meant to relieve.
“When there are so many kids in the schools, teachers don’t have the opportunity to get to know them as well, the kids don’t have as many opportunities,” said Keller, who moved to Frisco because of the school district’s reputation for small class sizes and teacher engagement.
Keller knows first-hand the effect overcrowding can have on students. Her daughter attended Wakeland three years ago, before Reedy High School opened to help relieve the growth.
“The hallways [were] so congested you couldn’t pass in the hall,” she said. “If she had been at a crowded high school, there’s a lot of things she would have never tried.”
Lyon says the district will do what they can to accommodate, but parents can expect more cuts in the future in the wake of the vote.