Moorhead Junior High gets new building under bond

Ashton Rushing, Contributing Reporter

The new bond package will include a new elementary school and junior high school campus if approved in the May 4 election.
This will leave the existing Moorhead Junior High School to transition into an intermediate school. The new junior high building would begin construction February 2021 and would open around August 2022.
The building’s budget would total roughly $81 million over the life of the bond, according to district projections. The budget will cover the utilities along with the infrastructure and road improvements for the location.
The existing MJHS building would also receive safety upgrades including a replacement for a water heater and new fireproof stage curtains along with a general safety review.
“Moorhead was originally built as a fifth/sixth grade campus,” Moorhead Principal Roberto Garcia said. “It has been proposed to the voters that a new junior high be built due to increasing enrollment in the Caney Creek feeder zone. The new junior high would be built to house 1,600 students. Moorhead Junior High would become the second intermediate school in our feeder zone.”
The new buildings are an attempt to address stress on school capacities from enrollment, which is growing according to a Population and Survey Analysts report. Moorhead Junior High School, Austin Elementary and Creighton Elementary are currently over capacity; San Jacinto Elementary estimated to go over capacity by 2024-2025.
The bond package also includes a new elementary school within the Caney Creek feeder zone that will have an estimated budget of $35 million. The new building would begin construction Feb. 2020 and be open around Aug. 2021. The new enrollment patterns would not be set until after a bond is approved.
“Usually when they build a new elementary, they pull students from that immediate area and the school, or schools, closest to it,” Creighton Elementary Principal Jenny Watson said. “But there are other times when they build a new school, the immediate area makes up the population of the school, then as the area around that school develops, the school attendance grows with it.”
Names for the new junior high and elementary school will be determined later if the bond package is passed in the May 4th election.

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