Bridge City celebrates groundbreaking of new three-story middle school

Published 8:34 pm Monday, May 8, 2023

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BRIDGE CITY — The storm that formed over Southeast Texas Monday afternoon may have prevented a literal groundbreaking, but it did not dampen the excitement of administrators, board members, educators and stakeholders as the Bridge City Independent School District celebrated the start of construction on a new three-story, 172,000-square-feet middle school.

“It was exactly one year ago yesterday that our community said yes — and it was a big yes — to the students of Bridge City ISD, and today marks a very special day for our school district,” Superintendent Dr. Mike Kelly told the crowd, which was moved indoors due to the weather.

“It’s going to be an absolutely gorgeous building. The project has been in the making for a long time. It’s overdue and I’m thrilled to see it’s finally coming to fruition.

The BCMS Cheer and Kickers teams perform. (Monique Batson/The Leader)

“The new school represents a significant investment in our community’s future. Not only will it provide a modern and well-equipped learning environment for our students, it will also be equipped with the latest safety and security measures to protect all of our students and staff.”

The new building, secured last year through a bond issue, includes a competition gymnasium with 900 seats, a practice gym with 270 seats, a studio for cheer and dance, six science labs, dedicated spaces for fine arts, a state-of-the-art food service area, a media center, a maker space and more, according to information from the district.

“It is unusual that classroom teachers get the amount of input but they did, and our teachers were part of the process all the way through — from suggesting how the classrooms are being set up in the new building, to getting to decide where the layouts will be and have an input to even, ‘hey, the flow of traffic will work better if our stairs go this way for athletics, so we can get where we need to go,’” said Principal Grady Welborn. “And it’s just amazing that those teachers got to be a part of the process.”

Other speakers during Monday’s groundbreaking included board members and stakeholders.

“It is exciting that our kiddos are going to have the best middle school in Orange County and maybe the State of Texas,” said School Board President Rebecca Rutledge.

Kelly said the building, which will be constructed across from the current middle school on Bower Road, should be finished by the fall of 2025.

Claybomb Architects developed the design, and G&G Enterprises is overseeing construction.

Kelly said 95 percent of the funds going toward the construction of the new building will be done by local businesses.

— Written by Monique Batson