Ann Richards Middle School Ready To Welcome Students
The new facility includes green design, unique features to enhance learning
DALLAS – Up to 1,250 students in grades 6-8 will attend classes at Ann Richards Middle School starting on Monday, Aug. 27, the first day of the 2012-2013 school year. The new facility, located at 3831 N. Prairie Creek Road, has several unique design features surrounding its 63 classrooms in 184,728 square feet of total space.
“Ann Richards Middle School will be the hub of the community, the pride of the surrounding area,” said Principal Timothy Hise. “All of those involved – from the architect, to the contractors, the subcontractors and Dallas ISD officials – created a truly premier educational center for the students of Pleasant Grove. The building is a trendsetter and a trailblazer, just like the leader for whom it was named.”
The school, built as part of the 2008 Bond Program, has an open and inviting entry thanks to generous use of glass and an open floor plan. Highlights include words of encouragement incorporated to the front hallway’s design, a giant sundial featured prominently in an outdoor courtyard and state-of-the-art auditorium and fine arts facilities.
“The fine arts will be an essential part of our students’ educational experience,” Hise said. “Research shows that involvement in the arts increases student achievement and confidence, and exposes them to myriad opportunities.”
Design features also aim to reduce the school’s impact on the environment, from the use of green construction techniques and materials to systems designed to reduce energy costs.
“The unique nature of the building, with its many environmentally sustainable features, offers
opportunities for students to actually touch what they’re learning about in the classroom,” Hise said. “Geothermal wells are used to heat and cool the building. Natural light and a reflective roof increase energy efficiency. And science meets math and history just outside of the cafeteria with our life-sized sundial monument.”
The community will get its first close look at Ann Richards Middle School during a grand opening celebration set for 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Aug. 25. The event is open to students, parents, staff and community members. Two events will help students acclimate to their new school, with 6th Grade Camp Rising Star set for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, and 7th- and 8th-grade Student Orientation set for 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21. The school’s Web site is www.dallasisd.org/annrichards.
Hise brings with him many years of experience in the district. He taught 7th- and 8th-grade math at W.E. Greiner Middle School; was a Program Development Specialist and Associate Principal at Moisés E. Molina High School; was principal at William L. Cabell Elementary School; and also served as a Coordinator in the North and South Secondary Learning Communities.
The district is opening the most secondary schools at one time in its history this fall, with three middle schools (Ann Richards, Balch Springs and Zan Wesley Holmes Jr.) and one high school (the replacement school for W.H. Adamson). Two new elementary schools (Adelfa Botello Callejo and Seagoville North) are also opening this fall. Construction of the new facilities was funded through the 2008 Bond Program, a $1.35 billion initiative that voters approved in May 2008. Schools are being built to accommodate population growth and ease overcrowding at existing campuses.
For information, visit dallasisd2008bond.org.