Where will the school that replaces Robb Elementary be built? – San Antonio Express-News

Executives of Huckabee Architects, a Texas-based firm, presented plans for a new elementary school to the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District board Monday night.

The new school is to replace Robb Elementary, where 19 students and two teachers were shot and killed by a gunman on May 24. In June, the district announced the school will be demolished.

The board mulled three possible locations for the new school, amid mixed feelings in the community about what should happen, if anything, to the old site.

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A community advisory committee that includes parents, district administrators, teachers, business owners and a Uvalde police representative will decide what students need at the new campus. The group will meet five times throughout the fall and members will tour elementary campuses in Austin for ideas.

The first site option is near Robb Elementary on the corner of County Road 106 and South Getty. Another option is on the corner of Studer Street and North Camp Street near the district’s junior high and high school campuses. The third option is adjacent to Dalton Elementary off Leona Street.

The presentation discussed pros and cons of each site for the board to consider. Construction is slated to begin in June 2023 and finished by October 2024.

The board also unanimously adopted the National Incident Management System, also known as NIMS, which has been recommended for all school districts by the Texas State School Safety Center in San Marcos. It obligates the district to go through training and will qualify it for federal relief funds in the event of a disaster.

The school board also accepted a long list of donations, including some that will fund outdoor playgrounds, outdoor counseling areas, and archery and fishing programs for students.

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The district’s enrollment of 4,005 students is 184 more than on the first day of school, and 111 fewer than last year, though it makes for 93 percent attendance, up three percentage points from last year.

At the start of the meeting, community members repeated the chorus of concerns that have regularly marked the public comment period — about accountability and the length of time it has taken the district to investigate its police force.

“What are y’all still doing? We come up here. We talk. Y’all look at us blankly. Yes sir, yes sir, and then you don’t do a damn thing,” said Brett Cross, who lost his nephew, Uziyah Garcia, 10, in the shooting.

“Why have you not started investigating the police?” Cross said.

Diana Olvedo-Karau, a former employee of the school district who is running for Uvalde County commissioner, noted that the Moving Forward Foundation — a non-profit group set up to support the construction of a new elementary campus — doesn’t have any Uvalde community members on its board.

The board consists of Charles Cline, chief financial officer in the office of philanthropist Charles Butt at the nonprofit Holdsworth Center in Austin, Brian Woods, superintendent of Northside ISD in San Antonio, state Sen. Beverly Powell, D-Burleson, and San Antonio attorney Mickey Gerdes, the Uvalde Leader News has reported.

“We never see a regular person from our community seated at any of these boards,” Olvedo-Karau said. “If we truly want to serve the needs of this community and we truly want to engage that community, efforts need to be made to include them in the conversation, not just later, but at the very beginning. None of these individuals live in Uvalde.”

“Community participation is more than just asking them questions, it is inviting them and giving them a seat at the table.”

claire.bryan@express-news.net

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