Security upgrades, construction expansion continue for Copperas Cove students and staff

Special to Leader-Press

Eight of CCISD’s 11 campuses have been under construction during the 2021-2022 school year to accommodate growing student enrollment and provide continued safe and secure learning environments. 
CCISD Deputy Superintendent of Operations and Support Rick Kirkpatrick oversees construction projects in the district.
“It is an exciting time to be in CCISD as we continue to improve our facilities to offer the best educational space possible for our staff and students,” Kirkpatrick said.
Construction on campuses include building additional classrooms, replacing HVAC systems, and increasing campus safety with new secure entry vestibules with access control and secure transaction windows in all front office renovations.  
“We are not immune from supply chain issues in CCISD. This has had a tremendous impact on our construction schedule for the work being done at Mae Stevens, Martin Walker, Williams/Ledger, Hettie Halstead, and Copperas Cove High School,” Kirkpatrick said. “Our contractor has faced tremendous lead times in electrical gear, HVAC units, flooring, and even doors.”
Principal Leah Miller said the expansion at Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy was needed to better serve students and families.  
“Meeting with parents previously had to take place in the few offices available and staff members would shuffle to other offices in order to provide privacy,” Miller said. “Now a conference room is available, as well as individual offices for staff members who need to meet with students. Space is also available for reading intervention programs and social/emotional support programs so that we are meeting all the needs of our students. This expansion will allow us to grow and service more students throughout the district.”
The total cost of the Mae Stevens construction project is $6,425,771 and includes a new front office area, conference room, upgrades to all bathrooms, several new classrooms, a new canopied playground, more parking, and a new, enlarged cafeteria to ensure students are fed in a timely manner and a stage where performances and award ceremonies will be held.
CCISD also replaced HVAC systems in specific sections of four schools based on the lifetime of the systems and budget timeline. Cost of the completed HVAC replacement project was $3,365,000. The district will replace HVAC systems at Martin Walker, Fairview/Jewell, and the maintenance, and child nutrition departments this summer. 
CCISD also expects to break ground this summer on a new Career Technology Education Building on the Copperas Cove High School campus to house welding and construction and manufacturing classes. The CTE addition is approximately 19,600 square feet with four classrooms, restrooms, locker rooms, and two labs, each 6000 square feet. 
“The new facilities will be state of the art with all the latest equipment so our students may continue to earn industry certifications,” Kirkpatrick said.
The new CTE building will make available two spaces inside CCHS that these programs currently occupy. Renovation plans for those spaces will be completed in the 2022-2023 school year.

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