Austin ISD still wrapping up construction at Lee Elementary


AUSTIN (KXAN) — With class back in session, at least one Austin ISD campus is still trying to complete a summer construction project that was supposed to be done before students arrived Monday.

Maintenance workers were still rolling office furniture into Russell Lee Elementary School in central Austin Tuesday. There was also a steady stream of other workers going into the building trying to put finishing touches on the front office renovation.

“It is so much bigger and spacious and just love the feel of it,” said Snow White, who has a second-grader on campus.

Parents got their first look at Meet-the-Teacher night Friday when it was still a work in progress. KXAN asked to get video of the project Tuesday, and at the very least requested a picture of the progress, but were told by the district and the principal we weren’t welcome inside until it was all ready to go.

So just imagine, if you will, a larger space with more windows for the office staff to see who’s entering the building.

“The nurse’s office is hands down so much better than the way it used to be,” said White. “It was so small that kids when they were sick they didn’t have a place to go.”

Director of project management for AISD Zack Pearce says the goal was to get it done by the first day of school, but construction crews are often getting work done down to the wire. He said crews still need to wax the floors, move in furniture and move staff from their temporary offices into the new space.

While there may be a few things to work around, parents don’t seem concerned with the delay.

“It doesn’t bother me at all. I’m just happy they’re doing it,” said parent Sergio Herrera.

Austin ISD says out of 67 summer construction projects, 61 are “substantially complete.”

This includes a lot of HVAC renovations, library overhauls and new roofs.

The other six projects are campus additions projected to be complete sometime in the fall or by the summer of 2019, which include projects at the following campuses:

  • Dobie Middle School
  • Mills Elementary School
  • Odom Elementary
  • Pickle Elementary
  • Rodriguez Elementary
  • Lee Elementary (school auditorium)

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