PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

January 17, 2014

Data gives PN-GISD eyes into the future

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

— Rodney Canvess knows he can’t rely on a magical crystal ball to predict the future of the school district he leads, instead he will rely on fact.

Canvess, superintendent of Port Neches-Groves ISD, is looking forward to the results of three sets of data that will track the district’s demographics, facilities and growth and capacity.

“Enrollment is growing steadily but consistently,” Cavness said via phone on Thursday. “It’s not growing so fast right now that we have to knock down walls and add buildings.”

The district has added portable buildings at Ridgewood and Woodcrest elementaries to allow for the increase in enrollment. Coupled with that fact there is the booming petrochemical industry along the Texas coast that could bring growing families to the area for work.

“This can bring people to the area and our little elementary schools are full plus the average of those schools is 50 plus years,” Cavness said. “There is a significant infrastructure cost to those buildings and with the potential growth we have we need to know if there are places for people to move over here, find out what the housing situation is, what the land situation looks like.”

In order to better plan for the future the district has engaged in a set of studies for an approximate price tag of $34,000.

“We aren’t planning for a bond issue. We’re not planning on anything like that,” he said. “We’re simply getting data for the board and the community that will allow us to gauge and plan for the next year, three years, six years, 10 years from now.”

The demographic study is expected to be completed by the March board meeting while a facility study is set to be completed by June or July which will also include funding options and strategic plan timelines.

The third part of the set of studies includes employee compensation. For that, the district is going with Elvis Arterbury who has worked with the district in the past.

“We want the best of everything for our kids,” he said adding that some of the elementary schools are aging and in need of costly repair. “I’m not one of those people who want to go out and raise people’s taxes real high but at the same time the kids in Port Neches-Groves Independent School District deserve the best of everything and we have to provide that for them.”

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews