By Lisa Kopochinski
FATE, Texas—Construction has begun on a nearly $40 million middle school in Fate, Texas.
This past March, VLK Architects, along with Royse City ISD students, staff, administrators and community members, celebrated the groundbreaking on the district’s new Bobby Summers Middle School. Bobby Summers, whom the school was named after, was also in attendance to commemorate this new campus.
Summers, who is currently serving as a trustee, is known locally as the “Voice of Royse City”—a title he earned while manning the microphone as the district’s football game announcer.
This facility is the largest project included in the district’s 2018 bond and will serve 1,200 middle school students in grades 6 through 8. The school—to be built across the street from Fate City Hall, located at 1900 CD Boren Parkway—is the largest project that was included in the $60-million bond package approved by voters in May 2018.
“Through VLK | LAUNCH®, a committee was formed to design this school that consisted of staff, parents, community members and—most importantly—our students,” said City ISD Superintendent Kevin Worthy.
“The design is going to be safe, smart, modern and efficient,” he remarked. “From the secure interior courtyard, to the community friendly extracurricular facilities, we hope that it will spark creativity and passion for learning in every child.”
The new building is designed to promote outdoor engagement with a centrally located secure courtyard and large windows allowing daylight throughout. The multipurpose courtyard area –located just outside of the cafeteria—functions as a staging area and will further serve as a meeting space for large events, classes and play space. Architecturally, the school will boast innovative learning spaces, a secure interior courtyard and community-friendly athletic spaces.
Multipurpose furniture will be placed on tracks that can be moved based on the space needed. The design is specified to be environmentally friendly by using a rainwater collection tank to further aid in landscaping.
Approximately 270 bids were submitted for this project early this year, with Northstar Builders Group, a construction firm that operates in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, being chosen.
“We feel this [price of $39.6 million] puts us on budget, if not a little under after we’re done figuring out everything,” said Jack Ream, senior project manager for Northstar Builders Group.
Bobby Summers Middle School is expected to open its doors to students in August 2020.
Summers grew up near the site of the new school and has deliberated on issues dealing with campuses and facilities during his time as a board member. He told the Herald-Banner newspaper recently that hearing his name attached to this middle school is a “surreal” experience.
“You hear about the word ‘surreal,’ but I’m still waiting to wake up,” he said. “I never expected anything like this.”