Keller district officials are pleased with progress on the bigger projects included in the 2014 bond package, with seven sites currently under construction.
Crews are working on the foundation for the addition at the career and technology education facility, newly named the Keller Center for Advanced Learning, located at what is now South Keller Intermediate School.
KISD trustees approved the name of the CTE center at the Oct. 15 board meeting. Community members had the opportunity to vote on five possible names. The Keller Center for Advanced Learning was the clear favorite with 53 percent of the 653 votes. The next most popular option was the Keller Hub of Innovative and Virtual Education with 17 percent.
Casey Stone, director of career and technical education, said that next August will be the first phase of what will be offered at the facility. Students will be able to take classes in automotive technology, cosmetology, architecture and construction and media arts. When fully established, the center will include programs in culinary arts, engineering, health sciences and law enforcement.
Hudson Huff, executive director of facilities, said the project is “right on schedule.” Most of the work is focused on the 50,000-square foot addition on the west side of the campus, with the drilling of piers and beams for the foundation.
The foundation is scheduled for completion in four to six weeks, then the steel structure of the building will start going up.
Huff said that outdoor areas for students had been sodded and paving for parent and staff vehicle traffic on the east side of the building has been completed.
“Based off the feedback I’ve received, disruptions have been minimal in student classroom instruction,” he said.
The Keller High School additions and renovations also have the tricky aspect of working around students.
Huff said that construction managers have been working closely with KHS administration to pause construction during testing and to manage it around campus activities.
The foundation for the band hall is taking shape and more work should begin soon on the piers and beams for the front entry.
KISD’s 23rd elementary school, located just west of Interstate 35W near Basswood Boulevard, recently received a full building permit. Crews have been doing dirt work on the site for the last six weeks and have begun the foundation and utility infrastructure.
The second early learning center, located behind Chisholm Trail Intermediate School, along with additions to Parkwood Hill Intermediate and Hillwood Middle schools, have just gotten started with grading permits. Work also has begun on a classroom addition at Bear Creek Intermediate School.
The last big project in the $169.5 million bond is a fifth- through eighth-grade middle school going in at Thompson and Old Denton Road. Huff said that he would be taking the plans to the November board meeting for trustees to review. That campus is not slated to open until 2017. The other large-scale projects are expected to be finished by next fall.