Texas Debuts Much-Needed New Middle School

FATE, Texas—A ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of the new $39.5 million Bobby Summers Middle School in the Royse City ISD was recently held.

This facility is the largest project included in the district’s 2018 bond and will serve 1,200 middle school students in grades six through eight. This school comes as a much-needed addition after rapid growth within RCISD.

“The new Bobby Summers Middle School is a new paradigm in what middle schools will be in the future,” said Sloan Harris, CEO, VLK Architects, the architecture firm on the project. “We are so appreciative that Royse City ISD had led us to drive the design forward and deliver a new state of the art campus for its students.”

VLK Architects was hired to help the school district meet the challenge of planning the 2018 bond after more than a decade since the district’s last bond election. VLK worked alongside RCISD Superintendent Kevin Worth, district leaders, and a community-based bond planning committee. Northstar Builders Group was the general contractor.

Through a collaborative process, members of the community were provided district demographic and financial data, along with potential project scope and costs to evaluate needs and set priorities, and successfully achieved a 79 percent pass rate.

Designed to promote outdoor engagement, the building features a centrally located secure courtyard and large windows to allow daylight to fill the space. The multipurpose courtyard area located just outside of the cafeteria functions as a staging area; it will further serve as a meeting space for significant events, classes, and additional play space.

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. The classrooms and science labs for each grade are placed around large central collaboration spaces featuring tiered seating, presentation capabilities, writeable surfaces, and flexible furniture. These spaces can accommodate multiple classrooms simultaneously in order to provide the district with the flexibility to extend the learning environment beyond the classroom.

The dedication of Bobby Summers Middle School was a proud moment for our community,” said Royse City ISD Superintendent Kevin Worthy, in a statement.

“This project was met with great community support and involvement. Opening the doors to this beautiful and innovative new school will be a joyous occasion. Generations of students will grow and thrive in the thoughtful spaces of Bobby Summers Middle School.”

The Royse City Independent School District, located 30 miles east of Dallas, encompasses 74.48 square miles within a tri-county boundary: Rockwall, Collin, and Hunt Counties. Accredited by the Texas Education Agency, the district provides quality education for PreK-12th grade. Also provided are special education programs for gifted and talented, and special needs students. The high school offers advanced placement classes along with dual credit courses.