Bryan ISD Administrators Give KBTX a Tour of Aging SFA Middle School

BRYAN - If you are parents of school-age kids, you probably wouldn't want to see some of this in the middle school:

No hot water in the boys locker room, and classrooms too small to meet state guidelines.

Those are two of the many issues at Bryan's Stephen F. Austin Middle School.

News 3 found out some more of the reasons the district wants to transform the nearly 80- year-old school into administrative space, and build a new middle school next door.

Stephen F. Austin Middle School Principal Brandon Jayroe gave us a tour of the facility, which has cramped quarters below current TEA standards.

"It's entirely functional, however, it could definitely be approved upon for very basic needs," he said.

There's no hot water in the boys locker room due to plumbing problems and the computers in the computer lab can't connect to the internet all at once due to connectivity issues.

"This is not an opportunity for you know Bryan to become extravagant or to make an unneeded expenditure for Bryan schools. I think it is more about planning for the future, upgrading there, it's been shown to be necessary," said Jayroe.

Opening in 1938 SFA was originally the white high school before integration happened in Bryan. The district is hoping to re-purpose the building rather than tear it down.

"It's pretty much served it's purpose," said Bryan ISD Superintendent Tommy Wallis, Ed.D.

Wallis says a facilities committee has been looking at the $132 million bond package since last October. $34 million of that would be used to build a new campus and turn this building into a central administrative space.

"If this bond fails then really what winds up happening is we go back and we look at our facilities committee and we look again," Wallis said.

School Board President Doug Wunneberger tells us the board is on board with the renovation plan to move 7th and 8th graders to a brand new building.

"We get less per student than some of our neighboring districts. We have to focus more of our general fund on paying teachers and keeping the students up," said Wunneberger, Ph.D.

If approved taxpayers would pay nearly $60 more per year for a $100,000 home.

If the bond is approved, the district would sell their office space on Texas Avenue and other property to relocate offices to SFA.

Voters will ultimately decide on the bond package on November 4th.

Some residents have already spoken out against the bond and the idea of higher property taxes including Sam-N-Bryan who commented on our website:

"Leave the school as a school...remodel it. Leave the admin building as an admin building...remodel it. I live outside the city limits and three quarters of my taxes are for school. What a waste of tax payer money this bond package is," he wrote.

We'd like to hear your thoughts for and against the plan.

Feel free to add them in our comments section of this story.


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