Committee: PN-G needs new elementary schools

GROVES — Residents in Port Neches-Groves Independent School District may see a bond election in their future to construct four new elementary schools.

During Monday’s school board meeting Scott Bartlett and Matt Marchak, members of a facility committee tasked with assessing the districts elementary schools, explained the process to the recommendation came from last year’s demographic study and facility study, tax rate analysis and tours of the facilities.

What they saw was aging schools; the oldest built in 1948 and the youngest in 1965. The schools had security issues as well as failing infrastructure such as leaky roofs, old heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, mostly original plumbing and electrical problems.

Bartlett and Marchak praised the district’s maintenance personnel for their tireless work but new schools are needed. A costs analysis showed it is not cost efficient to simply repair the problems.

“I hadn’t been to some of the schools in the district before, Marchak, a PN-G graduate and resident, said. He was shocked by what he saw. “Kind of like the Wizard of Oz, you pull the curtain back and see all the secrets.”

The secrets he referred to was the above mentioned facility problems.

The district currently has six elementary schools divided in the Port Neches and Groves communities. West Groves Early Learning Center houses Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities and pre-kindergarten; Ridgewood, Taft, Van Buren and Woodcrest house kindergarten through third grades and Groves and Port Neches elementary schools house fourth and fifth grades.

Bartlett said the committee looked at every grade configuration option and the decision to go to four elementary schools was unanimous.

While the cost of four new schools isn’t set in stone, the committee gave a conservative ball park figure of $130 million. “People will wonder ‘what’s it going to cost me?’ If we go forward, a $300,000 home would see about $200 extra a year in taxes,” Marchak said. “Would you pay $200 a year so your kids can go to a school without a leaky roof.”

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

Local

Groundbreaking kicks off work for Port Arthur’s new animal services center; see the details

Local

Fundraiser helping family of local man struck by vehicle in front yard; see how to help

Local

Louisiana man leads Port Neches police on chase. Not considering the welfare of others, chief says

Beaumont

Department of Transportation outlines closure of U.S. 69 northbound connector to Interstate 10

Local

Analyst “hopeful” Americans will soon see relief at the pump; see where Texas stands now

Columns

CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Put creativity on your “bucket” list and upcycle

Columns

HEALTHY LIVING — What to be concerned with that lingering cough

Local

Port Neches homes set for demolition after numerous violations, safety concerns

Local

Russell Buss hits milestone with special blood donation

Local

Carjacking Task Force targeting violent crime in Southeast Texas

Local

Port Arthur students excel at Top Teens of America event

Local

PHOTO FEATURE — Memorial sophomore excels in prose interpretation

Local

RELIGION BRIEF — God 1st Missionary Baptist celebrating pastor’s anniversary

Local

PHOTO FEATURE — Criticism Team comes up extra positive

Local

PHOTO FEATURE — Taking in the Symphony

Local

Dr. Avila Arcala left mark on Port Arthur and beyond; service planned Saturday

Local

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

Local

U.S. Navy for Port Arthur’s Hyleta Floyd is about service and family

Local

FIT BODY BOOT CAMP PUMPS UP VOLUME — Fitness goals via a welcoming environment is the mission

Local

Jury sentences Port Arthur man week after he was found guilty in Beaumont killing

Local

Port Arthur Police say arrests coming following shooting of 16-year-old local girl

Local

National Weather Service outlines heavy rain concern for Southeast Texas

Local

Willie Mae Elmore, former Port Arthur ISD trustee, nurse educator, dies at 74

High School Sports

Port Neches-Groves’ Morgan Campbell setting school record pace en route to regionals