The Northwest school district continues to acquire land for future campuses while constructing more schools in the fast-growth district.
At the Oct. 23 board meeting, trustees approved the $6.7 million purchase from H.P. Gibbs LP of a 148-acre site in Northlake, just southwest of Mulkey Lane and Cleveland Gibbs Road, for a future middle school, high school and stadium.
Included in the deal, Hillwood Properties gifted an elementary site. All the campuses would be located in the 3,000-home Pecan Square development at FM 407 and Interstate 35W. Another elementary site in the Harvest master planned community, just north of Mulkey Lane, was donated by the Thompson family. Construction on that campus, expected to open in fall 2019, is slated to begin in May.
Voters approved a $399 million bond in May, which included the construction of four new elementary schools, with one of them being the campus in the Harvest development.
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Officials plan to make that elementary school a new district prototype. Administrators spent ten weeks this fall working with educators across the district to get input on the most important features, said Tim McClure, assistant superintendent for facilities.
“We involved and engaged someone from every elementary campus at some level,” McClure said.
Northwest has grown dramatically in recent years, from 11,824 students in 2006 to now more than 23,000. There are 17 elementary schools, five middle schools, three traditional high schools and one accelerated high school.
The expansive district encompasses 234 square miles and includes parts of Tarrant, Denton and Wise counties and 14 municipalities. Demographers estimate enrollment could reach 90,000 at build out.
Earlier this year, board members approved the purchase of 155 acres south of Avondale-Haslet Road and west of Farm Road 156, on the western edge of Haslet in far northwest Tarrant County.
The purchase involved two parcels in the Le Tara master planned community: 140.6 acres for a high school and middle school and 14.5 acres for an elementary school.
In fall 2016, trustees approved a $8.6 million purchase of 149 acres between Interstate 35W and North Riverside Drive, just north of Timberland Boulevard, for a future high school, middle school and stadium.
No timeline is set for the middle and high schools on those sites and would depend on future enrollment growth patterns and bond issues, district officials said.
Meanwhile, construction continues on Adams Middle School and the district’s 18th elementary school, both set to open in August 2018.
A committee of district and community representatives proposed the name Lizzie Curtis Elementary for the elementary school under construction near FM 156 and Bonds Ranch Road.
Alice "Lizzie" Curtis was the first teacher of Blue Mound School, the first school in Haslet.
"There are lots of great names submitted, but Lizzie Curtis was one we kept coming back to because of her historical meaning to our area, and specifically to education.," said Emily Conklin, executive director of communications and community relations.
Trustees will vote on the name at the Dec. 11 board meeting.
Information for this report was provided by the Star-Telegram archives.