Community Meetings Bring Excitement to New Bond Projects
Community meeting stokes excitement at expansion of W.E. Greiner
The parents and community members served by W.E. Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy recently gathered for a look at the design plans for the highly-anticipated addition to their school, located at 501 S. Edgefield Avenue in Oak Cliff. At 180 percent capacity, the campus was identified as one of those most in need of expansion.
Upon completion, the 57,600 square-foot two-story addition will feature 32 classrooms and six science labs that will replace existing portables and allow for all teachers to be housed in the main building. The cafeteria will be expanded to better accommodate the school’s more than 1700 students in grades six to eight.
This addition will also feature a new drop-off lane, which addresses a safety concern voiced by parents who attended the community meeting, “Without a dedicated drop-off area, it is a safety hazard and major hassle for me every morning,” said W.E. Greiner parent Teresa Garcia, “I’m relieved to see that the district is taking the initiative and this issue is being addressed.”
In addition, 25 parking spots with a circular drive-way will be added to the existing parking lot. A special feature includes the addition of a new entry plaza that will serve as a secondary entrance facing the parking lot.
“The parents are really looking forward to the new expansion,” said W.E. Greiner Principal Stephanie Taylor, “It will provide a safer and cleaner environment for our students. And although it will get worse before it gets better with all construction involved, at the end it will definitely be worth it.”
Community excited at prospect of Joe May Elementary School
At a Northwest Dallas community meeting held to present plans for the new Jose “Joe” May Elementary school, parents and community members expressed excitement and relief at the unveiling of architectural plans for the school. The new 99,811-square-foot school will be located directly across from the existing Medrano Middle School off Brockbank Drive, and is scheduled to open in August 2016
Joe May Elementary will serve students in grades Pre-K – 5 grade with 33 classrooms, two computer classrooms, two multi-purpose classrooms, and a Head Start Program with four classrooms--all designed to accommodate 821 students. The Head Start Program was of special interest to parents. To date, students in this early childhood program have had to commute to other schools in the district to participate. “I’m very thankful to this community for advocating for this program,” said District 6 Dallas city council member Monica Alonzo, who attended the meeting, “We have worked hard and waited a long time to bring this new campus to this community, and we couldn’t be more excited.”
Traffic safety off Brockbank Drive was a main discussion point at the meeting. “Traffic flow and speeding along this street has been an ongoing issue,” said Karla Aderete, who will have children attending the new school. “I think that if we educate our community on the importance of driving safely, along with more police presence, it would make a huge difference.”
“This project is a beacon of hope for this community,” said Dallas ISD District 8 Trustee Miguel Solis. “It will alleviate some of the crowding problems that we currently face.”
The school is named for the late Dallas ISD trustee, military veteran and community leader Jose “Joe” May. “It’s a great testimony to not only his work for the district, but the entire community,” added Solis.