The Denton school district is slated to open a new elementary school today in the Lantana area.
Adkins Elementary School will open its doors to about 300 students, according to district officials. The 88,000-square-foot school sits on 12 acres north of FM407 and west of Copper Canyon Road in Lantana’s Fairlin neighborhood.
With the exception of Northwest ISD, which starts school Tuesday, all other Denton County public schools also start classes today.
Adkins is the district’s 22nd elementary school and the third one in the Lantana community, south of Denton.
In the days leading up to the school’s official opening, teachers were at work preparing their classrooms while a construction team completed punch-list items and worked on landscaping.
“It’s like a beehive,” Principal Emily McLarty said last week. “Everyone is working so diligently. Not only will it be done, it will be done beautifully.”
Paul Andress, the district’s operations director, said every system inside the school has been thoroughly tested, and with the exception of some minor landscaping, the school is ready to open today. A construction staff will be on campus today in the event of any issues, he said.
The new elementary school is named for Dorothy P. Adkins, a retired Denton ISD educator and former school board member.
According to district officials, the school includes several “green” and energy-efficient features including large windows in every classroom that let in a lot of natural sunlight. Sensors control fluorescent lights, which adjust to how much light is needed in the rooms depending on the natural sunlight.
The school also includes spaces for outdoor learning and a “bioswale” system that collects rainwater and condensation from the site for the school’s irrigation use.
The sustainable features provide teachable science lessons, McLarty said.
After months of preparation, McLarty said, it’s “a wonderful feeling” to finally be in the space.
“It’s even more beautiful than I imagined it. It really is,” she said. “There is a lot of excitement surrounding the school both from the parents and students, community, the staff and businesses.”
All the school needs now are its students, she said.
“We can’t wait to meet them,” McLarty said.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.