Broken Glass Shuts Down Bowie High School
Vandals leave $200,000 in damage on Southwest Austin campus
Students at Bowie High School in Southwest Austin returned to class Monday, after the school closed abruptly Thursday and Friday due to vandalism left the building with 80 broken windows and a repair bill that could reach $200,000. Austin ISD officials shut the campus down because the shattered glass exposed adhesive materials that contained asbestos from when the building was originally built in 1988. Specialized crews certified by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality worked through the weekend to have the temporary repairs completed by Sunday, allowing Bowie students to finish up finals week on a slightly modified schedule. The vandal is still at large, and the AISD Police Department asks that anyone with information call 512/472-8477.
At its meeting Monday night, the AISD Board of Trustees approved a request from AISD Operations Officer Matias Segura to classify the Bowie vandalism as emergency maintenance, which allows the district to circumvent the usual procurement process requiring going out for bid, as specified in the Texas Education Code. That status will allow AISD to complete the repairs in about two weeks, Segura said. He also told the board that his office is still "determining the scope of work" for permanent fixes, but that it's a "safe bet" the repairs will be done before the start of the next school year. The repairs will not interfere with Bowie's forthcoming upgrades, approved in the 2017 AISD bond package, which will mostly impact the school's athletics and fine arts buildings.