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New school still on track

Profile image for By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

Construction on the Denton school district’s 22nd elementary school, which is in the Lantana area, is progressing and remains on schedule despite a recent spate of bad weather.

Concrete grade beams have been poured at the site and some electrical, plumbing and geothermal work has also been done. The ice storm earlier this month pushed some work back a few days, but workers are on a “normal construction schedule,” officials said.

“We’re moving along,” Paul Andress, the district’s director of operations, said recently. “It’s a muddy mess out there, but we’re still working. We’re making progress.”

The new elementary — the third elementary school to be built in the Lantana area — is slated to be completed in time for the opening of the 2014-15 school year. The 88,000-square-foot school is on a 12-acre site north of FM407 and west of Copper Canyon Road in the Fairlin neighborhood.

About 300 students are expected to attend the school its first year, district officials have said.

The school construction project, expected to top out at nearly $17.8 million, is part of a $282 million bond package approved by voters in 2007. The Lantana Education/Charitable Foundation is offsetting some of the costs. Officials have pledged to contribute a $1 million donation over the next four years — paid at $250,000 a year — toward construction of the new school.

Construction began in October, with Balfour Beatty Construction managing the project and the estimated 300 workers involved. The school, known only as Elementary School No. 22, could be named by the school board as early as February.

The design includes a number of “green” features, including special windows that will allow natural sunlight into the classrooms.

Earlier this month, the school district hosted two public hearings on the proposed attendance boundaries for the new school. The boundaries, along with other proposed elementary boundary changes, are set to be discussed by the school board at a meeting Jan. 21.

More details on the proposed rezoning of elementary attendance boundaries can be found at

Parents at a Dec. 16 public meeting expressed concern about the lack of sidewalks on Copper Canyon Road — a two-lane road with a posted speed limit of 40 mph — leading to the new school, and about a lack of continuous walking paths to the school from Tanner Parkway.

Robert Bostic, assistant superintendent for academic programs, told parents at a meeting earlier this month that while the school district is responsible for sidewalks on its property, walkways to and from the school will be the responsibility of the town or developers in the Lantana area.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.