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Pre-K Board Seeking Developers For Remaining Learning Centers

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Although Pre-K 4 SA's first two model education centers aren't yet open, the board of directors is now submitting a request for proposals from developers to begin looking at two additional sites on the east and west sides of town.

The remaining education centers will fulfill the requirements of the eight-year Pre-K 4 SA program, which is expected to see 22,400 students over the initial life of the program.

This August the first two centers, one on the Northwest Side and the other on the Southeast Side, will open.

Voters only approved Pre-K 4 SA last November, so the first two centers had to quickly be built.

"You typically wouldn't build a school as fast as this is being built," said Project Manager Chuck Smith, describing the situation during a site tour of the centers last month.

Although there is more breathing room to build the next two centers, the board isn't wasting time.

City staffers narrowed down the locations to 4900 Lord Road on the East Side and 5103 Old Highway 90 West on the West Side. City staff members said the 12 acres of land at the eastside site is attractive for developers because it is big enough for other development.

Pamela Ray, who represents the East Side as Councilwoman Ivy Taylor's appointee to the Pre-K Board, said the center will only continue to help the area grow.

"It's a small and commercial, but what's being built there and what's going on, and what Councilwoman Taylor has going on with the Eastside Promise Neighborhood grant, with SAGE (San Antonio for Growth on the East Side), grants with everything going on with the businesses, I think this is going to add more to the eastside, definitely," she said.

On the West Side, city staff found one of the major pros is that it's in a highly visible location.

Gloria Ramirez is West Side Councilman David Medina's appointee to the board and said she used to teach in the area. She believes it's very accessible to that part of town.

"It is a very well located area. It has a lot of little neighborhoods in the area, and it also has some up and coming industry," she said.

The city plans for construction to begin this August, and be ready by next August.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.