South San ISD board makes plans to reopen 3 shuttered schools

By Patty Santos - Reporter, Lee Carpio - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - The South San Independent School District expects it will cost $5.6 million to reopen three schools that were shut down in recent years due to low enrollment.

School board leaders at a special meeting Wednesday said the plan is to have schools reopen in time for the next school year.

The board has appointed a budget committee to work with a independent financial consultant and the administration to figure out next year's budget to find out where the funds will be secured.

The board president is also refuting the former superintendent's report that the district ever had a deficit. They went line by line, looking at everything from supplies, buses and furniture to building upgrades to see what is a necessity and what they can do without to reopen these campuses.

The board suggested the staff get creative by recycling old books and furniture and moving personnel around to save money.

Leaders said the point of reopening the schools is to get students back and to stay competitive with surrounding districts.

“You can’t be competitive and have specialized campuses until you open the building. That's the first step,” said Connie Prado, board president. “We want to make sure we’re being responsible in what we are doing and that we're not going to do anything that in any way is going to decrease our fund balance.”

Here's a breakdown of the cost:

It will take $1.5 million to open Athens Elementary and about $2 million each to reopen Kazen Middle and West Campus High School.

It's projected the district will need about $8 million more to keep the schools open.

More meetings are expected before the final vote to reopen the schools.

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