Willow Springs withholds construction on new STEM wing

Budget+for+the+STEM+wing+was+taken+from+the+2014+bond+election+which+granted+75+million+dollars+to+Lovejoy+ISD+for+growth+and+development.+The+project+is+projected+to+begin+during+2020.

Hannah Gonzalez

Budget for the STEM wing was taken from the 2014 bond election which granted 75 million dollars to Lovejoy ISD for growth and development. The project is projected to begin during 2020.

The middle school will be constructing a STEM wing in 2020. Currently the school is on the pre planning stage of construction.

“As we evaluated our needs as a campus, and the board priority of growing the STEM program throughout the district, our plan is to use the WSMS addition to update and enhance our STEM facilities, ultimately aligning to the space that LHS has in their STEM wing,” Willow Springs Principal Kent Messer said. 

The school is in the process of finalizing the plans for the new expansion. They are currently using projected population numbers to figure out how much they should expand the facilities at the middle school.

The plan for the new addition is also to include new science labs and some additional classrooms for our core subjects. It will also include additional storage space for our STEM programs.”

— Willow Springs Principal Kent Messer

“At this point, we have pushed the pause button to truly evaluate what direction we want to go with any expansion, as well as the timing of the expansion,” Superintendent Michael Goddard said. “We currently have 752 students at WSMS, so space is still available for growth without expansion at the moment. We will be continuing to analyze our next steps as we work with curriculum needs, demographer studies and growth planning.” 

The money for the project was taken from the 2014 bond election which granted 75 million dollars to Lovejoy ISD for growth and development. There were 14 million dollars left in the bond for future expansion when the STEM Wing was planned.

“The addition to WSMS was part of the last bond package so it was originally planned to support student growth, the need for additional classroom space and our eventual buildout in student population projections,” Messer said. 

The STEM wing will add eight classrooms to the school.  

“The plan for the new addition is also to include new science labs and some additional classrooms for our core subjects,” said Messer. “It will also include additional storage space for our STEM programs.”

Many students are aware of the planning of a STEM wing addition. Eighth grader Ella Weston said she looks forward to the changes the wing may bring to the school.

“I thought [the STEM wing] would bring a new learning environment to our school,” Weston said, “and could even help with other classes like in science when doing experiments or doing tests.”