The Abilene Independent School District hopes to tear down aging Taylor Elementary, the school south of campus, and replace it with a new structure, potentially on the land where the Sanders Intramural Field now sits.
AISD will ask Abilene voters in November to approve issuing bonds to pay for it and the reconstruction of two other elementary schools in town.
The AISD Board of Trustees approved a bond proposal earlier this month for $138 million to complete projects around the district. Philip Ashby, AISD director of communications, said Taylor Elementary is on that list because it’s among the oldest elementary schools in town.
“Taylor Elementary is one of the projects for replacement, because it is a campus that was built in 1955,” Ashby said. “Abilene ISD owns that entire lot that Taylor rests on, and ACU uses it with our permission through an agreement for their intramural fields.”
The bond must be considered by Abilene voters on Nov. 6 for the necessary changes to be made, and Abilene ISD still has to make a decision whether to move Taylor to a completely new lot or to let it remain on the same land. Regardless, Ashby said, the school must be replaced to make the campus more safe for students.
“Many of the classrooms open outside, and, although we have perimeter fences around all of those campuses, ideally, all of our classes would open into an interior hall and be contained in a building,” Ashby said.
Kelly Young, who oversees of the off-campus real estate for ACU, said the two parties can adjust the current agreement with the lot if needed.
“We’ve been good neighbors for a long time, and I think when they are ready to go forward, then we will be able to work together to figure out how that happens,” Young said.
Abilene ISD will finalize a plan for Taylor Elementary by October.