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      Construction started on AISD campuses

      It may be summer, but Amarillo Independent School District is staying busy with construction projects that vary from new additions to added security.

      So what changes can parents and students expect to see come fall? That's an answer that Pronews 7 sought out after touring a few campuses.

      If you drive by an elementary school the sounds of hammers fill the air. That's because construction associated with the school district's bond, passed last year, is now getting underway. It's been a lengthy process to get this construction started.

      "We have about $60 million under contract with the bond issue right now ranging from classroom additions to new campuses," said AISD Director of Construction and Maintenance, Jim Lawson.

      From planning, getting the bond passed, design to now implementing those designs.

      "There's been some time spent on design, usually six to eight months and construction can sometimes range from nine months to a year, so you're really looking at a two year planning cycle," said Lawson.

      "We're glad that's behind us and we're glad we're implementing and we feel like the plans are good in every location and it will be good for the students, for the staff, and for the parents," said AISD School Board Member, Jim Austin.

      Every location includes 13 elementary campuses, all getting controlled access entrances to better protect students and staff from a would be shooter.

      "There's a process by which you enter the school there's a process by which you're watched while in the school and there's a check out process," said Austin.

      Completion on those new entrances are expected to be completed by the time school starts in the fall. Meanwhile, construction on the Bowie and Travis 6th grade campuses is just starting.

      "It allowed us to take care of the rising population in those areas. It gave us an opportunity to provide a unique educational opportunity to those 6th graders".

      Eight schools will get additional classrooms added, for a total of 108 to help ease overcrowding.