LIBERTY HILL, Texas (KXAN) - Liberty Hill Independent School District is building for its future. The first structures are starting to take shape at the new high school location on the Northwest corner of County Road 277 and SH 29.
The high school campus, which encompasses 95 acres, is just a part of an $86 million bond package passed in 2010. The project also includes upgrades to Liberty Hill's Junior High, Intermediate, and Elementary Schools, but the high school accounts for $61 million.
"Fortunately, people had a good vision as to what's going to happen in the future of Liberty Hill," said Liberty Hill ISD Superintendent Rob Hart. "So, voters approved it."
The high school will hold 1,600 students, which is about twice the current enrollment. But housing development in the area demands expansion.
"40-percent of the available home building lots in the Austin area are in Liberty Hill ISD," Hart added. "So, we're trying to stay ahead of the game."
The building will have 48 classrooms, nine science labs, 10 computer labs, one competition gym and two smaller practice gyms, career and technology classrooms, a band hall, choir room and an auditorium.
In addition, the school's athletic teams will get new facilities. The site will have parking for 1,100 vehicles, a football stadium for 5,000, an 8-lane track, two practice fields, a baseball field and softball field (both with seating for 500), tennis courts and field houses, a weight room and concession stands. The current football field is on the elementary school's campus.
"It's going to be a lot different than going to the elementary school to watch a high school football game," said Liberty Hill resident Tim McIlhaney. "We currently can't seat everybody. I mean, I get there five minutes late, and I can't sit down."
The brunt of funding will come over the next three years, increasing taxes on a $200-thousand dollar home anywhere from $138-188 a year.
"I've been in a lot of West Texas towns, and communities are dying," said McIlhaney. "The mentality is totally different than it is here."
According to UIL classifications, Liberty Hill is currently a 3A school, but at the rate they're growing, the new campus will carry them into the 4A level. The fight is keeping the small town feel, as it becomes an extended part of the Austin metro area.
"Things are going to change here, and Liberty Hill will never be the same," said Hart.
Students and faculty will move into their new high school for the 2013-2014 academic year.
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