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New Dallas Schools With funds from a $1.37 billion bond program, DISD builds to accommodate its growing enrollment by Willis C. Winters, AIA

led the growth of Texas’ largest cities, with a 30-percent increase in student population. This unprecedented growth has resulted in one of the most ambitious public building programs in recent memory. Since 1999, the state’s 10 largest school districts have successfully passed bond referendums totaling over $5.4 billion, which provided funding for the construction of more than 100 new schools, as well as renovations and additions at aging campuses. More than half of these new schools are being built by the three largest districts in Texas—29 new schools by Houston ISD, 21 by Dallas ISD, and 11 by Cypress-Fairbanks ISD on Houston’s north side. The new schools in Dallas were funded by a $1.37 billion bond program in 2002, one of the state’s largest capital referendums for public schools.

courtesy Perkins + WIll

The Texas schoolhouse is evolving into something new and different at the beginning of the twenty-first century as the state’s burgeoning growth has fueled an intense building campaign. Over the past eight years, school districts have expanded facilities in their struggle to keep up with dramatic increases in school-age population. Suburban districts, in particular, experienced significant increases in enrollment. Between 1989 and 2001, San Antonio’s two largest districts grew by 32 percent; the three largest suburban districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area increased by 50 percent; and Houston’s three biggest suburban districts mushroomed by a whopping 63 percent. Enrollment in the state’s four major urban school districts expanded by a comparatively modest 21 percent during this same period. The Dallas Independent School District


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Texas Architect Jan/Feb 2007: Spaces for Learning