The Van Alstyne Independent School District is one step closer to getting a new high school following the district’s purchase of 103 acres of land off of Cartwright Road near the Grayson College campus in the city.
Van Alstyne ISD Superintendent David Brown said the district is facing annual growth between 8 percent and 10 percent. He said the district is preparing for the possibility of building a new high school campus by 2024, if growth remains constant with projections. Brown said the district used $1.5 million from a previous bond to upgrade the elementary campus, along with some funds the district had available, to purchase the land. Brown said the land was purchased for around $39,000 per acre from multiple sources.
Brown said the district wanted land near the Grayson College campus in order to make it accessible for the city’s high school students.
“Part of the reason we bought the land in that location is to partner with them,” Brown said. “Some of the benefits to our kids will be able to do dual credit. Into the future, they will be able to use the college’s career services.”
In a press release announcing the purchase, Van Alstyne ISD board President Randall Morgan said the district was excited to purchase the land.
“Having Grayson College within walking distance will be a huge benefit to both our students and the community,” Randall said in the release.
Brown said there are no immediate plans to begin construction of a high school, as voters will still need to be presented with a bond issue before any buildings could be constructed on the land. He said, long-term, the district would need additional facilities in the next few years. Brown said if things move forward, the district would construct a new high school campus he hopes would house as many as 2,800 students, though it would only have around 1,200 or so initially.
Brown said the district currently has 1,710 students with 480 of them at the high school. The district is projecting around 1,850 students for the 2019-2020 school year. Once a new high school is constructed, Brown said the current high school would be converted to a seventh and eighth grade campus while the current middle school would become a fifth and sixth grade campus.
“This is a great acquisition for Van Alstyne ISD,” Morgan said in the press release. “It positions the district to handle future growth and will allow us to continue expanding our offering of educational programs for our students.”
Grayson College President Jeremy McMillen said the college has a great relationship with the school district and is looking forward to the opportunities for the two schools to work together for the mutual benefit of the students.
“This acquisition provides a huge opportunity to double down on our partnerships and do something really unique in our region,” McMillen said.