Education leaders break ground on major addition; prepare for influx of students
Published 12:36 am Wednesday, March 8, 2023
BRIDGE CITY — Bridge City Independent School District broke ground Monday on a 40,654-square feet career and technical education (CTE) building, which is an addition to the existing high school campus.
The building is part of Bridge City ISD bond propositions passed by voters in a 2022 election and will help address student enrollment growth on the Bridge City High School campus.
District superintendent Dr. Mike Kelly thanked everyone involved in the process for their swift response addressing the need for dedicated CTE spaces at Bridge City High School and responding to the ongoing growth of Bridge City.
“I want to thank all of our staff, the entire Bridge City ISD staff got on board immediately. I won’t say it all started then, but Jan. 4 after Christmas I spoke to our staff for about an hour. I presented the results of a facility study that we had conducted and a demographic study we had. Those results told a very, very clear story,” Kelly said. “And some didn’t believe it at the time, but I want to say that we’ve added about 45 students since Christmas. Students keep coming and they jeep coming and that’s exactly what we want.”
Kelly said the recent announcements of the Chevron Phillips Chemical facility and the new Entergy facility in Orange County serve as a catalyst for growth in the district.
Kelly also noted new housing developments in planning and progress.
“As soon as those things were announced, things started happening in the community and surrounding communities,” he said. “Our district is a place that students want to be and where parents want their students. This is a destination school district. We have a lot of great things to offer, and this is just one more way that we’re going to be able to go above and beyond what surrounding districts are doing for their students.”
Kelly said from the very beginning a constant thing that has been said during school board meetings: ‘If not now, when?’ Kelly is glad the board and the community voted that the time is now.
“If we wouldn’t have done something when we did, we’d be in a world of hurt here in a couple years,” Kelly said. “Our high school — we keep graduating our smallest classes — our only classes under 200 students the last three years. So last year, this year and next year are our last classes under 200 students. After that we hit 230, 240, 250, 270 — we are only growing.”
The CTE building will house current CTE programs available at Bridge City High School and soon build upon it.
According to Bridge City High School principal Tim Woolley, the CTE addition provides new spaces for welding, construction, nursing, family and consumer science, floral design, engineering and AV tech programs.
“It’s also going to provide some much needed relief space inside our main building for our core academic areas,” he said.
“And this new addition will help 19 new instructional spaces, including a welding shop, a construction shop, a nursing clinicals demonstration space, a computer lab, an engineering assembly lab an AV news studio, a sewing lab and a new flower shop along with nine classrooms.”
G&G Enterprises and Claycomb Associates Architects are the parties involved with construction of the new addition, and Woolley and Kelly said they have been inclusive of the Bridge City High School CTE staff and their needs.
“G&G and Claycomb have been amazing, Claycomb spent hours of their time sitting down with our teachers and trying to design the best spaces for our students,” Woolley said.
“They really listened, took their ideas and didn’t try to talk them out of things. For the most part, it was what do you need, and let’s see if we can make it happen.”
For more information, visit bridgecityisdbond.com or the BCISD social media accounts.
— Written By Tim Cohrs