ARLINGTON — Along with resort pools and new homes, construction will soon begin on a two-story elementary school in Arlington’s newest fast-growing neighborhood.The Hurst-Euless-Bedford school board approved a $16.8 million contract last week to build the school in the new Viridian master-planned community in far north Arlington.Over the past year, about 100 families have moved into the 2,300-acre development, just north of Green Oaks Boulevard off Collins Street.An additional 200 families are expected to move in within the next 12 months, said the developer, JCKPL LLC.The 91,168-square-foot school, which will serve 870 students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade, is expected to open in August 2014.H-E-B school officials say they expect to name the school, which will offer a Spanish immersion program, Suzuki Strings Program and core knowledge pre-kindergarten, later this fall.JCKPL President Robert Kembel said having a state-of-the-art elementary school with advanced programs will help create the type of community residents seek out.“It’s right in the middle of the neighborhoods. For us to have an elementary school where families can walk to it and ride their bikes to it and be a part of it, we just think that is really important,” Kembel said.The school isn’t the only addition to the growing neighborhood, which is Arlington’s largest single-family housing development in years.With more residents, Kembel said, he’s ready to start construction this month on resort pools in Viridian’s amenity area and begin talking to restaurant owners about opening up on the shores of Lake Viridian.The development’s pools are expected to open in spring, and then the developer will begin work on an event center that should open in 2015, Kembel said. Eventually, Viridian will have 3,500 single-family homes and 1,500 condos, town houses and apartments. Councilman Charlie Parker, who represents north Arlington, said projects such as Viridian that attract new residents and businesses — and create new sources of property taxes and sales tax — are crucial to the city’s financial health.“It does nothing but benefit the city of Arlington,” said Parker, who said he’s impressed by the developer’s transformation of the former flood plain along the Trinity River. “It’s absolutely remarkable what they have done out there.”A town center, called Viridian Village, will have 400,000 square feet for offices and medical space, and 400,000 square feet for shops and restaurants. Leasing for that project isn’t likely to begin until more homes open, Kembel said.“We will be patient. The more Viridian rooftops there are, the more demand there will be,” Kembel said.Kembel said he expects nearly 700 lots to be ready for home construction by the end of November. This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639 Twitter: @susanschrock