After Hitting Reset, Richardson ISD Opts to Add on to Existing White Rock Elementary to Address Overcrowding

White Rock Elementary should be expanded to help alleviate chronic overcrowding, a consulting firm told the Richardson ISD school board this week.The current capacity for the elementary school is 912 students. According to district officials, White Rock Elementary is expected to be at 111 percent of its 912-student capacity in five years. The firm, Stantec Consulting Services, was hired late last year to help the district address the crowded conditions. The company surveyed White Rock-area residents who told them they favored enlarging the school. Stantec used the survey to recommend to the board that the school be expanded and renovated to accommodate 1,150 students.Superintendent Jeannie Stone recommended that the board move forward with the expansion. Although the board did not take a formal vote on the matter at Monday night's meeting, the district agreed with Stone's recommendation and will soon launch expansion design plans so that construction could start in October with an August 2018 completion."I fully support adding on to White Rock; it was one of the first things I thought would be the number one solution," White Rock Principal Lee Walker said Monday night. "From the staff standpoint we are ready to move on it because we need some space back."She said her school could use additional staff support but that believes they can handle the larger student body population. "I have no doubt if we add on and do it the right way and address everything ... that we can make this an amazing place to be and welcome all of our students back," Walker said.'Please work with us'According to district officials, the expansion would include "12 additional classrooms and enlarged core spaces, including cafeteria, library, gymnasium, kitchen and office area."The projected cost of the expansion is about $17 to $20 million and will be financed through the district's $437 million bond that voters approved in May. About $107 million of that had been set aside for campus renovations and construction to accommodate more students across the district, including White Rock.Stone said the next step would be to engage the community on the design of the expanded building. She said she hopes to work with residents to address any of their concerns, as well as those of her students and staff."To the families who may not agree with this recommendation . . . I ask to please work with us," she said. "There are ways we can have a large school and increase community involvement and engagement."  Continue reading...

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us