AUSTIN (KXAN) - These days most new schools are built from the ground up.
But at the corner of Metric Blvd. and Rundberg Ln. construction crews are turning an old lighting manufacturing plant into what will soon be the largest elementary school in the Austin Independent School District.
"Typically we would start out with 32 classrooms and plan for an 8 classroom addition," said AISD Project Manager Scott Rouse. "Here we're starting out with 57 classrooms."
The building will boast a larger-than-normal cafeteria and library. Rouse said the extra room will prevent the need for portables down the road.
The district closed on the property in May. The purchase and building conversion carry a $20 million price tag, and will be paid for with 2008 bond money.
So far, crews have gutted the inside and added skylights so every classroom will have natural light. The campus will bring relief for Cook and Wooldridge Elementary Schools in North Austin.
Both schools have about 400 more students than they were originally designed for.
Project Manager Brady Lenamon with Flintco, the construction company behind the project, said turning a warehouse into a school is a first for them. The biggest challenge is designing hallways around existing columns.
AISD Facilities Director Paul Turner told KXAN that finding land to build on in North Austin was next to impossible. That is when the district started considering re-purposing an existing building.
Most kids who will be attending the new school live within a two mile radius which means most will be walking to school. The district is already planning on facilitating "walking school buses" where designated employees will help walk students in groups safely to and from school.
The school is set to open in the fall of 2014.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.
A 13-year-old girl who told police she had been kidnapped from her school and assaulted on Monday, admitted to police she made the story up.
TxTAG’s customer call center lines are jammed as toll road violators scramble to pay up and avoid staying on a published scofflaw list.
The U.S. Grand Prix race in Austin next year will be held Nov. 2 and F1 weekend will not coincide with a UT Longhorns home football game.
One woman died early Wednesday after several shots were fired at a North Austin mechanic shop.
Bomb squad officials reported to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport after a suspicious package located in a cargo area Wednesday.