New school welcomes Northwest ISD students

Posted Tuesday, Sep. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A new red brick building in Roanoke welcomed its first students Tuesday. The new 109,926 square-foot campus is Wayne A. Cox Elementary School, the 17th elementary school in the 234-square-mile Northwest school district.

"It was great," said Principal Debbie McCune, former lead administrator at Beck Elementary in Trophy Club. "It was a great day. Kids and families were so excited."

Northwest, one of the state’s fast-growing districts, welcomed about 19,050 students this week for the opening of the 2013-14 school year. Cox currently has about 350 kindergarten through fifth-grade students and an optimal capacity of 850.

Dennis McCreary, assistant superintendent for facilities, planning and construction, said the Cox campus is expected to double in enrollment by the 2017-18 school year. McCune said the new school is unique in that it was built for capacity enrollment because the area is high growth. That way, the school won't need to undergo a renovation and expansion in only a few years.

Cox features an expansive cafeteria and gym, open space, an enclosed courtyard, flex spaces and energy-efficient amenities. The flex areas are spaces between adjoining rooms that allow for collaborative learning opportunities.

McCune said the new school is off to a good start and it's her aim to keep it going that way. "I want kids skipping into school and skipping out happy," McCune said. "And I want our staff and teachers feeling the same way."

Gary Johnson, police chief in Roanoke, said first day of school traffic went better than expected.

“Congestion around Roanoke Elementary was heavy as usual as many parents chose to bring their children themselves in lieu of using the bus,” he said. "At the new Cox Elementary School parents quickly learned the traffic pattern resulting in very few problems. Overall, it was a very successful first day of school.”

-Staff Writer Susan McFarland contributed to this report.

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