CS School, City Reps Rap about Growth

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For the first time in years, College Station's city council and school board met together. The special joint meeting didn't result in any resolutions or actions, but did accomplish a major goal -- an open dialogue.

After two hours worth of presentations and discussions, College Station's school board and council know two things: there's a lot of growth, and they need to be ready for it.

"The district grows, and the city grows, and we'll grow together," said Acting Superintendent Eddie Coulson. "It's going to be important to have discussions about how we can work together."

Preliminary discussions are well underway at the district level when it comes to needing a seventh elementary school, and the potential for a second high school. In the coming years, those schooling levels will reach a critical mass of students.

But the need for more schools comes with current projections. Those numbers could be skewed by the fact that the city as a whole is mere years away from a major surge in population of it's own. Monday's meeting was as much about updates as it was about handshakes.

"Regular, productive interaction -- that was part of the purpose for this tonight was to begin something new, to reestablish that," said School Board President Tim Jones.

"We kind of look at this meeting as an alternative to having had the parts as opposed to something that was important enough, priorities-wise, to have a meeting of the whole," added School Board Trustee Steve Aldrich.

"It benefits the whole community, and I think everyone should feel proud to be a part of a community where this is important and this is a priority," said City Manager Glenn Brown.

"I learned something about how things are growing in the school system," said Mayor Ron Silvia. "I was kind of surprised that it's growing as rapidly as it is."

In the future, there will likely be more interaction, maybe more joint meetings. The consensus Monday: this first step together will lead to more.

Among the discussed partnerships between the two sides were future ventures in fiberoptics, as well as possibly sharing administrative space in the proposed city center.