Construction on the new Charlotte Anderson Elementary School will be finished by early August, giving teachers and staff about 10 days to move in before school starts Aug. 16.
"It’s going to be narrow," said Jeff Brogden, associate superintendent of facilities and bond programs. "It’s going to be really tight but we’ve been in a tighter fix before and we managed to make it."
He attributed it to a combination of heavy rains delaying construction and the first day of school being earlier this year.
"We were already under contract and under construction when the school calendar was published," Brogden said.
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The two story elementary school replaces the old Anderson with a bigger campus while still retaining the old trees that are a hallmark of the site.
The new campus faces Nathan Lowe Road rather than Fox Hunt Drive, which allowed even more trees to be preserved. Also, the stone facade is meant to blend in with the surroundings.
"A lot of care and a lot of design had to go into the preservation of the trees on the lot," Brogden said. "I feel fantastic about what we’ve been able to accomplish."
The $15.6 million school marks the end of major projects for the 2011 bond, which also included building replacement schools for Tarver-Rendon, Glen Harmon, J.L. Boren and Alice Ponder elementary schools.
Now, the district can turn its attention to the 2017 bond election approved by voters in May.
The largest chunk of the $275 million bond election will be new elementary, intermediate and middle schools that are needed to handle growth in the southeast section of the district.
District planners haven’t decided where those schools will be built, yet. The elementary and intermediate schools could be combined on the same site.
"The district owns a lot of property," Brogden said. "We hope to make a decision really soon."
All three could be open by the fall of 2020 to meet demand from master planned communities like South Pointe, Somerset, JT Ranch and M3 Ranch.
These developments will add thousands of new homes, townhomes and apartments to the district.
Overall throughout Mansfield ISD, the district expects another 12,571 homes, 5,712 multi-family and 392 townhomes to be built in the next decade.
Other 2017 bond projects will start in the spring and summer of 2018, including new classroom additions at Howard and Worley Middle schools. The courtyards at those campuses will be enclosed to become class space. All elementary schools will get science labs, too.
The district will get new synthetic surfaces for playgrounds and new shade structures at all elementary schools.
The district will phase out the wood chips, which require constant maintenance and replacement and are a fire hazard, in favor of the synthetic surfaces, Brogden said.
"At the end of the program, all schools will have at least two shade structures," he said.
New Cat e6 ethernet cabling will be installed at all campuses to improve networking for computers and devices.
New fire alarms, video surveillance, exterior lighting and server upgrades are planned throughout the district.
Eventually, Mansfield ISD will need to prepare for a sixth high school planned on 78 acres on South Main Street and Flying L Lane. That would require another bond election.
Discussions on that school will likely happen in late 2018 or 2019, depending on how fast Lake Ridge High School gets overcrowded.
The district has a site for a seventh high school in the Rendon area west of the Mansfield city limits that could relieve overcrowding at Legacy High School. It’s an 85-acre site on Rendon New Hope Road near Little Road.
There’s also potential for a future intermediate school where the former Tarver-Rendon Elementary School is located.
The school board already approved the funding to tear down the old Tarver-Rendon.
The district also owns land in Rendon that could be a middle school.