HALLSVILLE — Hallsville's newest school is now under construction and on schedule to be open for the start of the 2022-23 school year.
The new Hallsville West Elementary School, approved by voters in 2019 as part of the $55 million bond package, is being built in Longview city limits, on East Loop 281 near the Page Road intersection.
The district recently celebrated the start of construction of the $29.7 million school during a ground breaking ceremony with community leaders and district personnel in February.
"This is a great day for Hallsville ISD. This was first discussed over two years ago with this day in mind," Hallsville ISD Superintendent Jeff Collum said at the February ground breaking. "This is an exciting time for us to come together and see these projects come to fruition."
The new Hallsville West Elementary School will have a student capacity of about 900 as it is constructed to alleviate overcrowding issues at Hallsville North and East Elementary Schools. Housing grades pre-kindergarten through fourth grade, the 91,362 sq. ft. school was approved for a construction budget of about $29.7 million but was bid out for about $25 million.
"We’re not done with it yet, but our final cost has come in at $23.4 million so this is a great start," Collum said. "We are being good stewards with the money."
The campus will include a sunken courtyard, wood features, and will alleviate morning and afternoon traffic on Hallsville’s FM 450 as students head to and from campuses located on and near that roadway.
"We are excited to fulfill this commitment to provide quality education for our kids and alleviate overcrowding issues," Hallsville ISD Board President Jay Nelson said at the groundbreaking. "This building will have the latest and greatest inside to further our students’ education. We will be back here in about one year and two months to walk through this finished project."
The district and Huckabee Architects, which was hired to design the school, worked with current elementary school administrators and teachers from the district to help design the new campus, based on educational needs.
The $55 million bond also included the construction of a new $13.8 million auditorium at Hallsville High School, updates throughout Hallsville Junior High School and Hallsville Intermediate School, as well as new band uniforms and instruments.
The only remaining project of the 2019 bond to be completed is the new Hallsville High School auditorium which also celebrated its groundbreaking ceremony in February and is expected to be completed by the end of next spring.