Port Arthur ISD support center renovation full go; district leaders outline plans and timeline

Published 12:20 am Friday, April 19, 2024

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The future home of Port Arthur Independent School District’s Support Center is abuzz with activity as crews transform the former Catholic high school and health center at 9th Avenue and Texas 73.

The $13.1 million building project at 3601 Texas 73 is going to host a multitude of district services in one central location. They include maintenance, transportation, records, custodial, police, shipping and receiving, technology, instructional materials and a print shop, according to Phyllis Geans, assistant superintendent of operations.

Motorists traveling by the site are likely to see the large building fenced in and a work trailer for Daniels Construction near the Texas 73 side of the building.

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Renovation work is obvious in sections of the building, including the 9th Avenue side, where crews were seen this week working and concrete trucks were entering the property.

Geans said the board of trustees recently approved the purchase of a sign to be placed at the front of the support center that shows which departments are housed there.

There are some changes from the original plan, in that the district’s police department headquarters will now be in the facility, as well.

“The big thing is the police department hasn’t always been located with other district offices,” Geans said from her office at 4801 9th Ave. “They will still have a presence on each campus, but the headquarters will be across the street.”

PAISD purchased the site of the former Bishop Byrne Catholic High School that was later used as Christus Health Southeast Texas in 2020 for $500,000, plus closing costs.

The building sits on 22.8 acres, and the building experienced flood damage in 2017 with Hurricane Harvey.

The building has been remediated.

Original funding

Geans said it is pretty exciting at the moment to watch the progress.

Money for the project was earmarked with the voter approved $195 million bond in 2014 to construct a new maintenance, warehouse complex and transportation facility and $7,267,000 set aside for this, according to previous reports.

“We are using our monies wisely,” she said.

Geans said the project is scheduled to be substantially completed April 15, 2025.