News & Events

Dallas ISD Breaks Ground On New Replacement School


For Immediate Release:  May 22, 2012

Dallas ISD Breaks Ground On New Replacement School

O.M. Roberts Elementary School groundbreaking celebrates history with focus on future


            DALLAS — Community leaders, parents, students and elected officials joined district representatives Tuesday, May 22, 2012 for the groundbreaking ceremony for O.M. Roberts Elementary School at 4919 E. Grand Avenue.

            The nearly $23 million campus is one of two Dallas ISD replacement schools scheduled to open in August of 2013, and will serve 800 students in grades Pre-K through 5. The school is named in honor Oran Milo Roberts, the 17th governor of Texas and a Texas Supreme Court judge.

            Principal Zulema Ortiz opened the celebration with an expression of thanks for everyone  involved in the development of the new school. District 8 Trustee Adam Medrano acknowledged Ortiz, her staff and the Roberts family and thanked the community for its support.  Steve Korby, Executive Director of Financial Services, noted that the school is a sound and smart investment in the future of the community and the city at large.

            “Dallas voters believe students need excellent learning environments and put real money into backing that belief, allowing us to build new schools like Roberts, and to renovate older ones across the city,” Korby said.

            Adding their support to the occasion were City of Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano and civic leader Walt Humann, who founded the Jubilee Center that supports the neighboring community with after-school and other programs. Roberts family member, Mark A. Roberts, spoke of the life and legacy of his ancestor Governor Roberts and encouraged the students to strive for excellence.

            Construction Services Director Larry Zerby described the building’s architecture and its green and sustainability features, and shared the timeline for completion of the new school.

            The event included performances by the O.M. Roberts Elementary School choir, praise dancers and Ballet Folklorico. The program concluded with the school song as participants lined up for the groundbreaking.

            During 50 years of service to the state of Texas in many capacities, Governor Oran Milo Roberts developed debt reduction measures, increased funding to public schools and played a pivotal role in the founding of the University of Texas where he later served as a professor of law. An author, professor, governor, soldier, chief justice, advocate, and attorney, Roberts left an important legacy for the entire state.

            The school will follow the Dallas ISD’s standards for environmentally-friendly construction. Jacobs Engineering, Inc. is the program manager of the new school. Ratcliff Constructors is the general contractor, and the architectural firm NR2 Architects designed the buildin

           In May 2008, Dallas voters supported a $1.35 billion bond program, paving the way for the district to build eight elementary schools, four middle schools and two high schools, and construct 177 new classrooms on 13 existing campuses. In addition, the bond program will provide roughly $521 million to renovate more than 200 schools, add 19 new science labs at six secondary schools and updates to 16 school kitchens and 22 lunchrooms. Information on the allocation of bond funds can be found at