Phase 2: Melissa Schools prepare for rapid-growth


David Shipp

Phase 2 construction

David Shipp, Writer

Melissa was a small town in 2000, but it has grown to a well-sized community over the past two decades. In 2005, the old high school (currently the middle school) was built. That facility served the high school until it more than reached capacity, and in 2018, the current four-story, state-of-the-art Melissa High School was opened; however, just one short year later, in October of 2019, Phase 2 construction for MHS began, which is set to be finished in December of 2020, if everything stays on schedule.

The planned parts of Phase 2 are the “Championship Center,” a 110-yard enclosed practice facility for all athletic teams and an athletic training center. Also, a new football stadium, which will be attached to the championship center, will be constructed. The student union building will be expanded, which will help manage the amount of students in the cafeteria at one time. A new gymnasium will also be added, so more teams can practice at the high school at once and the need to transport athletes across town will be minimized. A state-of-the-art 1,000 seat auditorium for the fine art programs will also be constructed. Furthermore, also included in Phase 2 will be a new elementary school in Willow Wood, which will open for the 2021-2022 school year, according to “Vision 2020” on Melissa ISD’s website.

Even though the majority of the Phase 2 construction will directly impact the high school, Principal Kenneth Wooten believes that it is good for the whole district.

“I don’t view it as favorites, I think it’s all pretty cool for Melissa,” Principal Wooten said.

Melissa has grown from 1,300 residents in 2000, to 10,500 as last recorded in 2018. The school district enrollment is approximately 3,700 and is expected to increase to around 5,000 by 2025, according to the “Bond Sheet Handout.”

“The high school has 976 students currently but is expected to have 1,200 next school year,” Mr. Wooten said. “There are approximately 900 students at the middle school right now. We are anticipating next year’s freshman class to have about 360 students.”

Since Melissa Schools are growing very fast and are considered a “rapid-growth district,” administration has to stay focused on the big picture because Melissa ISD needs to meet the needs of the whole district, not just the high school.

“The school isn’t overly crowded, but it can get very crowded in the hallways at times,” freshman Elian Garcia said. “I also think the expansion is cool, and as Melissa grows we will need the expansion.”