New high school: Possible solution or terrible mistake?


Kaylee Aguilar

Sidekick staff members Shreya Beldona and Nico Reyes discuss the benefits and downfalls of building a new high school in Coppell. These downsides include high construction and transportation costs, while the benefits include fixing crowded hallways and decreasing class sizes.

Shreya Beldona, Staff Writer

The hallways of Coppell High School during passing period are full of life, bustling with students on their way to next class. Some might say the hallways are too packed.


The solution seems simple: build another high school. But is that what Coppell really needs right now?


With a new high school comes a multitude of new electives and technology, as well as transportation to account for – all of which will take a toll on the district’s budget. Last year, Coppell switched the bus service to Durham School Services which cost roughly $500,000 to $550,000. One can only imagine how drastically the transportation costs would increase with the addition of a new high school.


“We are bussing kids everywhere,” Coppell ISD Board of Trustees President Tracy Fisher said. “We have more bussing costs than we ever have. We have fewer kids that are driving now in high school than we did 10 years ago or five years ago [which] is definitely impacting our transportation costs.”


With a new high school in addition to this current trend, CISD will have to pay a significantly higher amount to accommodate the students that are choosing not to drive to school.


Fisher is currently trying to figure out a way to not let the high transportation costs affect the quality of students’ learning.


Transportation costs associated with the addition of a new high school are something that CISD cannot manage right now due to the recent addition of CHS9 and the new Coppell Middle School West.


Over the years, Coppell High School has developed a culture in which young students in Coppell elementary schools and middle schools look forward to attending either CHS or New Tech High for their high school education. A new school would mean this tradition, which has lasted more than 53 years, would gradually fade out of significance.  


“The culture and traditions of Coppell run deep in this community,” Coppell High School assistant principal Nick Coenraad said. “We see kids grow up as Coppell Cowboys. They know from the time they are very young that we are all Coppell Cowboys.”


This culture is important to Coppell and because CISD has never had more than one major high school besides CHS, it is hard to say whether these traditions will last. The anticipated changes that Coppell would expect are unpredictable and could affect our town negatively.


From football games to the T-shirts sold for fundraisers, we can see the traditions that our town has developed and fostered for several years. If and when a new high school is created, new customs would be created, potentially overshadowing CHS’ long-standing traditions. Will these traditions continue? Will they still be a part of Coppell?


Coppell has been growing and growing, adding more and more students in every grade. One of the benefits of CHS9 is how it reduced the number of students on the CHS campus. New facilities such as these might be the solutions that Coppell needs.


In order to pay for the new high school and the costs associated with it, Coppell voters would have to approve a bond package. However, if this bond is approved, the residents of Coppell would have to pay higher taxes to pay for the creation of a new high school.


“Residents would decide if they are willing to increase their taxes a small percentage to fund a new building,” Coenraad said. “Buildings aren’t cheap, especially like one of a high school this large.”


It’s true. Buildings are not cheap. In fact, the conversion of the former Coppell Middle School West into the current CHS9 costed about $27 million. Even more astonishing, the new Coppell Middle School West costed close to $55 million. If these facilities cost so much, a new sustainable and modern high school would be a different ballpark.


After the recent construction of CHS9 and the new CMS, a raise in taxes seems like an ill-advised decision for everybody in Coppell.


However, there is no reason to stress over the answer to the crowded halls. Improving upon pre-existing facilities such as CHS and CHS9 might be the key that CISD and many Coppell residents have been searching for.


“I think that I would be more supportive of an upgrade or renovation of the current Coppell High School,” Coenraad said. “Renovating the current Coppell High School and turning the ninth grade center into a ninth and 10th grade center would maintain the one comprehensive high school, Coppell High School.”


In the far future, if needed, a new high school may be appropriate, but between the transportation, cultures and traditions and taxes, building a new high school now would be a step in the wrong direction.