DALLAS — Construction broke ground in June on a $110 million elementary construction and renovation project for Highland Park Independent School District (Highland Park ISD) in Dallas. Approved by Highland Park ISD’s 2015 bond election, the project includes constructing four new elementary schools and renovating a fifth elementary school.
Stantec, with offices in Dallas, designed the schools to be high-performance buildings that meet the Texas Collaborative for High Performing Schools standards for energy efficiency, water conservation and resource reduction. Balfour Beatty Construction, also with offices in Dallas, is managing construction on the project.
The project’s first phase includes the construction of the district’s first new elementary school since 1948, which will be situated on a 100,000-square-foot campus. This initial elementary school will serve as a “swing” school to accommodate faculty and students who will be displaced as the new schools are constructed over the next three years, according to a statement. It will provide students with flexible learning spaces, outdoor classrooms, a learning garden and a one-story underground garage with 90 parking spaces.
“There is a shift occurring in school design and construction today focused on building future-ready schools, and creating learning environments that maximize engagement and stimulate curiosity,” said Charles DeVoe, senior vice president of Balfour Beatty, in a statement. “This shift is already impacting some of our most progressive K-12 education clients like Highland Park ISD that are thoughtfully designing their new schools with students and teachers in mind.”
Once the first elementary school is completed in summer 2017, Balfour Beatty will begin construction on the replacement campuses for the remaining schools. Each school will take about 13 months to complete and will include flexible learning spaces and underground garages, similar to the initial elementary school.
The district’s fifth elementary school will also undergo renovations as well as include a 7,900-square-foot addition. The school will remain operational as the construction team right-sizes existing classrooms, replaces interior finishes and completes other life cycle replacements.