San Benito explores ways to repurpose schools

SAN BENITO — Data from a study conducted by the San Benito school district show a steady decrease in enrollment at the elementary level.

The data also show campuses are well below capacity.

But school officials are finding ways to repurpose their campuses.

San Benito CISD hosted a public forum this past week to discuss efficient uses for district facilities and possible rezoning.

Superintendent Dr. Nate Carman presented three suggested proposals on how to proceed in the upcoming school year.

One proposal involves converting Dr. Garza Elementary into a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Academy.

A STEAM Academy will allow the district to become competitive with other charter schools and potentially retain and recruit elementary students.

Another recommendation involved repurposing Landrum Elementary to become Landrum Educational Complex.

The proposal recommends using the building for the Positive Redirection Center and Gateway to Graduation, among other possible departments.

Carman went into details of each proposal noting the benefits and potential downfalls before opening the floor up for public opinion and comment.

Parents and grandparents of students expressed concerns about staffing and displacing students.

School board president Michael Vargas made it clear the board would not be losing any staff if the proposal is approved.

“We are committed to not letting anyone go,” Vargas said.

Board action on the proposals will take place Feb. 13.

If the proposal is passed, it will take affect in the 2018-2019 school year.


• Repurpose Dr. Garza Elementary to a STEAM Academy

• Repurpose Landrum Elementary to Landrum Educational Complex and use the building for Positive Redirection Campus and Gateway to Graduation

• Develop early college academy in available pod at Veterans Memorial Academy