Near future schools

Ryer Brown, Staffer

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Two state of the art schools opened within the last couple of years in HPISD. Additional schools are on schedule to be built within the next two years, bringing the sum of new schools to four.

As the Park Cities continues to urbanize and experience significant population growth the school system is on track to grow with it. The school district has made a strategic investment to ensure future generations are well equipped with resources to meet these growing demands.

In November of 2015, HPISD voters approved a $361.5 million bond with a close voting margin of 55-45. The bond included the addition of a new elementary school and the demolition and rebuilding of most of the elementary school. The only school that will not be rebuilt is Armstrong, which will only receive remodeling. Other projects include an addition to the middle school and a new multi-use building.

As the voting margin was very close, there are opposing arguments toward the bond. Some residents believe the historical value of the schools will be compromised with the demolition of the school buildings. Others believe it is necessary to avoid continued updating and increasing population demands. Nevertheless, the majority of voters approved the bond and the construction started June 23, 2016.

With two schools completed over the last two years, there are still elementary schools that are either in the process or are planned to be built, such as Bradfield and Hyer Elementary.

     The third rebuild,  John S. Bradfield Elementary School is currently undergoing construction and is scheduled to be finished by end of the summer of 2019. The architecture of Bradfield is going to be Spanish, as to stay in line with the style of Highland Park Village, The Town of Highland Park and many of the significant buildings in the older parts of Highland Park.

“It has been amazing to see how quickly it has gone up and how little it has impacted the area nearby,” Lance Hartsell, whose office is near the Bradfield construct site, said.

      As for the status of the students, Bradfield attendees have moved to the current Hyer Elementary site, while the Hyer students have moved to the brand new elementary #5 located at Northwest Highway and Durham.

The fourth rebuild, Robert S. Hyer Elementary School, will also be compatible architecturally with the town and neighborhood. It will feature a 30 percent increase in capacity size, which will be achieved by larger classrooms and flexible learning stations.