Breeden Elementary will not be open for fall school year

How do you fit 50,000 students in 57 schools?

You can't in Brownsville.

That's why overcrowding has forced the school district to expand and build new campuses like an $18 million elementary school on Dana Road.

"We built it to alleviate several of our nearby elementary schools that are overcrowded. That was the ultimate goal," said Interim Superintendent for Brownsville ISD Dr. Carl Montoya.

Problem is the money ran out before the school could be made functional and now Dr. Montoya and the BISD school board must figure out what to do next since Breeden Elementary won't be ready for this coming school year after all.

"We may have to get very creative and look at what we have in various budgets and what can we use to open this facility from a realistic perspective," said Montoya.

BISD must pay millions more to staff the new school, properly equip it and to keep it running.

Dr. Montoya says they'll have to look at several options to put the building to use which could include opening it as a grade level elementary meaning solely kinder or first grade, for example.

"We hope to share that information with our board and let them guide us on what they would like us to do," said Montoya.

School Board President Caty Presas-Garcia says it's a burden that could have been avoided.

"We shouldn't have built this school, it was not the right time," said Presas-Garcia.

Meanwhile, students in several overcrowded schools in Brownsville will have to start yet another school year in portable buildings.

The board president says that shouldn't impede their education.

"The portables are very well equipped. They have air condition, the students don't hurt because they are in portables, said Presas-Garcia.

Of the 57 schools in Brownsville, 47 of them require portable buildings to accommodate the large number of students.

Three schools near Breeden Elementary serve over 1,000 students each, students that could have fed into the beautiful new campus sitting between 2 large subdivisions.

That more than likely won't happen this school year.

I would rather give them a better educational program than build them a brand new campus," said Presas " Garcia.

Breeden Elementary is 90% complete.

The estimated cost to open it to 850 students is $1.5 million, with staffing expected to cost $2.5 million.

It may end up housing only a few students at a time when finally opened according to school district officials.