Renovations for Andress High School now not as promised, says Teachers' Union president
The projects from the 2016 El Paso Independent School District bond are slowly becoming reality. One of those projects is $32 million worth of renovations to Andress high school.
“I taught at Andress for 13 years. That school is decaying,” Ross Moore, president of the El Paso American Federation of Teachers, said. “What was promised was that the academic buildings would be basically scrapped down to the concrete bones and rebuilt; just like they were going to be done at Coronado."
The project also includes new fine arts and field house buildings. But, Moore says what was promised isn't what's scheduled to happen to Andress.
“What that means is cosmetics. A little paint here. A little paint there. Maybe some tiles,” Moore said. “But it's not what going to be needed for the school and it's not what going to be needed for the students."
The District told CBS4 unforeseen changes to FEMA's flood plains made it adjust the original Andress plans.
“If we were to do the major renovations we had originally planned for that school, it would trigger a tremendous increase to the budget at that school,” Gustavo Reveles, EPISD spokesperson, said.
“I can't believe they didn't know. Okay? I truly can't believe that,” Moore said regarding the flood plain changes.
Andress' buildings wouldn't just be getting a facelift if the original plan is followed.
“We would have to actually physically raise those buildings up in order to meet flood plain requirements from FEMA," Reveles said.
The Distrist said it's working with the community to improve the school within the current budget.
“We're doing major renovations to that courtyard. We're doing work in classrooms. We're doing work with HVAC and that school will better off, will look much, much better than it does right now,” Revels said.
The district tells me if there are funds left over from other projects it could potentially use that money toward different schools like Andress.