Eanes ISD Joins Local Group to Build Multi-Purpose Facility
The Eanes ISD Board of Trustees approved an agreement with Westlake Athletic Center, LLP (WAC) tonight, giving the nod to build a 60,000-70,000 square foot multi-purpose facility on 5.68 acres of the District’s Shriner property, adjacent to Westlake High School.
The agreement, which stems from a Request For Offers (RFO) issued in October 2013, provides Eanes ISD students priority access to the multi-purpose facility for fine arts, wellness and extracurricular activities. Two offers were received and evaluated by the Board, with WAC chosen as the best offer that provided the most benefit to the District, and was consistent with the District’s Facilities Master Plan.
“Our students will benefit from this collaboration the most, which is the ultimate celebration,” said Dr. Tom Leonard, Superintendent of Schools. “We look forward to working with WAC and the community to be able to provide the best facility possible to the benefit of kids.”
Some of the terms of the lease include:
- There is no cost on the District’s part to build the facility; WAC will fund the construction and once completed, will fund the maintenance and operations, including personnel, of the facility.
- Eanes ISD will have priority right to use the facility on all school days between 6am and 5:30pm, and during August after the start of University Interscholastic League (UIL) practice.
- WAC will pay the District $60,000 per year for rent, beginning 10 years after the facility opens, with annual escalation of 2.5 percent.
- WAC must provide Eanes ISD with an annual financial report, including, but not limited to, the disclosure of the WAC investors’ rate of return.
- Title and ownership of the facility transfers to Eanes ISD at the end of the 10th year of operations.
“WACC represents a creative and exciting solution to the school district and community’s longstanding need for a multi-purpose youth activities facility,” said Rob Hargett, Eanes ISD Board President.
WAC’s proposal includes five to six full-size, indoor basketball courts, and 10-11 volleyball courts. The indoor turf area is projected to be a 50 length x 63 width yard turf field. The facility may be used for multiple purposes, including band, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, football, volleyball, Robotics, cheer, Hyline, speed and agility instruction, and weight training. The facility will also have the ability to accommodate karate, yoga, gymnastics and other youth activities.
An aquatic center is projected for the site, including a Jr. Olympic-size pool, meeting USA Swimming requirements. A supplemental pool will also be included, which can be used for swim lessons and other group aquatic activities.
“Many of our student groups are competing for practice space, meeting in areas like the cafeteria, and practicing late into the evening when we would prefer they are at home studying or with their families,” said Todd Dodge, Eanes ISD Athletic Director and Westlake Head Football Coach. “This facility opens our options tremendously and allows our students more opportunities that are better suited for their academic and extracurricular needs.”
Kerry Taylor, Westlake Band Director and District Fine Arts Director, looks forward to the facility, noting that "the brutal Texas weather limits the band program, particularly in regard to effective and productive practices. This facility would allow some flexibility for space and practice times as we prepare for our competitive marching season."
The facility, which will be on the slab of the former Shriner building adjacent to Westlake High School, currently includes plans to retain and possibly add student parking, once construction is complete. In addition, the district may use all but 50 spaces for parking during high school varsity football games.
WAC hopes to begin the permitting and design process immediately, planning to break ground after the first of the year, 2015.
Note: View the background, FAQ’s and final lease agreement online: http://tinyurl.com/kvawbw2.