Mission CISD students attending Mission Collegiate High School will have a brand new campus next year. Construction on the new campus, located behind Alton Memorial Jr. High and Cavazos Elementary on Los Ebanos Road, began this summer and buildings are now beginning to take shape.
Since initiating the Collegiate High School with a freshman class of 125 students in 2012, the school’s classrooms have consisted of portable buildings located at Mission High School. Each year, a new freshman class with another 125 students is added and presently 321 students attend the school, representing 9th, 10th and 11th grades. When the new campus opens next fall, total enrollment is expected to be about 450 students, and will include 9th through 12th grades.
“It’s a smaller version of a complete high school without the athletic facilities,” said MCISD Executive Director for Facilities/Maintenance/Construction Rick Rivera.
In addition to classroom space, the new campus will include a library, administration building, science labs, computer labs, restroom facilities for staff and students, plus a kitchen and dining area.
The contractor, E-Con Group LLC, is right on schedule, according to project architect Eddie Vela of EGV Architects. The foundation has been poured and walls are beginning to go up for the library building and classroom building C. The contractor was readying to pour the foundation for Building A, which will include administration and dining areas, when over seven inches of rain pounded the Mission area over the weekend, Vela said.
Much of the site work is done, including infrastructure for drainage, electrical and sewer. The outline of the parking and driveways is also visible.
As soon as the site dries out, the contractor will proceed to pour concrete for Building A, and then build the foundations for the other wings of the buildings.
“It’s actually progressing pretty brisk, notwithstanding the recent pelting that we got with rain,” said Vela. “The contractor E-Con has progressed fairly well. Actually, I’m impressed that I’m seeing the 3-dimensional at this point.”
The construction contract was awarded for $13.6 million, plus another $1.2 million for soft costs such as engineering and architectural fees, utility work, testing and landscaping. The school board originally budgeted a total cost of $13.4 million for the project, including soft costs. Verley said the final cost would likely be less than the $14.8 million total, as a certain amount is included in the contract for contingencies.
Why Mission Collegiate High School?
“Mission Collegiate High School is following the true early college high school model in the state that is designed to help more of the middle ground…students who are from an economically-challenged background to graduate with as many college hours as they can. In some cases, they can actually graduate with an associates degree, or up to 60 college credits,” Verley said.
After their sophomore year, the students are taking primarily college-level courses.
Verley explained that a campus like this with smaller class sizes allows for smaller learning communities. For example, the freshman class is only 125 students, which is much smaller than the regular high school.