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Firm to present details on new high school

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

The Denton school board willget a new look at plans for a fourth high school in the district at its meetingtonight.

VLK Architects will presentdetails including “artistic renderings, pullouts of shared spaces and classroomspaces,” and energy efficient and sustainable features proposed for the schooland the school site plan, said Superintendent Jamie Wilson.

“The architects were chargedwith really exploring sustainable features, open concepts and collaborativespaces, and really designing this high school for the future to provide as muchflexibility as possible for future growth in the area and the fidelity of ourdistrict programs,” Wilson said. “That’s what they’ve been working on. That’swhat they’ve been charged with doing and we will be discussing that [tonight].”

Plans for the new school havebeen in the works for more than a year, he said last week. Schematic designshave been discussed with the bond progress committee the last six months, thedistrict has received proposed designs and construction documents are beginningto be designed, he said.

Sharon Cox, districtspokeswoman, said $3.5 million from the 2007 bond was allocated for the designof the district’s next high school. Having those designs drawn up will expeditethe high school project by two years, she said.

Last November, votersapproved a $312 million bond package that includes construction of a fourthhigh school at an estimated cost of $149.6 million.

“Our goal would be to finishthe entire project by fall of ’16,” Wilson said, adding that the district hopesto build the school in two phases, as it did with Guyer High School.

The district intends to buildits next high school in its eastern region in the U.S. 380 corridor, and sitesfor the new school are still being discussed, he said. There are about threeareas being considered for the new campus — a site on FM720 between Martop andMcCormick roads that the district currently owns, and two undisclosed locationsthat the district would have to acquire. Wilson said the district could look toconstruct the high school at a “centrally located” site that’s accessible toall residents in the 380 Corridor.

It’s expected that a requestwill be made this spring for the school board to authorize the sale of 2013bonds for the school’s construction. Requests to approve the cost and plans forconstructing the new high school are expected this summer, Wilson said.

Other workshop items on tonight’sschool board agenda include the proposed 2014-15 elementary attendanceboundaries, teacher shortage areas and the 2014-15 high school course catalog.The board is also expected to name a new elementary principal and a newathletic director to succeed Ken Purcell, who retired last month. The board isslated to conduct the superintendent’s evaluation in closed session.

The school board meets at 6p.m. at the Stephens Central Administration Building, 1307 N. Locust St.

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