June 23, 2016
Ground has been broken and demolition has begun at the site of Highland Park ISD's first new elementary school since 1948. That and other projects are beginning to take shape as part of HPISD's $361.4 million bond election approved by voters in November 2015.
Here's an update on progress:
New elementary school
Highland Park ISD officially broke ground June 20 on a new elementary school designed to serve students for generations to come. Approximately 200 community members gathered at the site of the new school, on the corner of Wentwood and Durham, to celebrate as construction begins on the state-of-the-art facility for HPISD students. Click here to view a photo album from the event. 

After the groundbreaking ceremony, Balfour Beatty Construction began clearing the site to prepare for construction. The firm has installed a screening fence and will use the north part of the site to stage and enter the property. Every effort, within reason, will be made to limit parking on residential streets during the construction stage of the building. In addition, a 24-hour hotline has been established for neighbors to be able to report concerns related to construction. (Click here to see the construction plan for the site.) The school is scheduled to open in August 2017.

The latest renderings of the new elementary school. Click to enlarge. 

On June 20, HPISD parents, administrators and architects discussed interior design options and previewed carpet, tile and other textiles samples. Click here to view preliminary interior renderings.

In June, HPISD received initial bids for the school from subcontractors, which came in slightly more than $3 million higher than what was initially projected. This is similar to what other local school districts are facing in construction projects, and it is driven in large part by the current labor market and by rising concrete and plumbing costs. The costs will continue to be monitored very closely. There are contingency costs built into the initial estimates for the facilities plan, and this development is not expected to impact other projects. HPISD will continue its attempt to reduce the proposed cost through the value engineering process. 
Renovations at Highland Park High School
A focus group comprised of HPHS teachers, Principal Walter Kelly and HPISD administrators met with architects to discuss how to maximize the new classroom space that will be added in the upcoming years. The group, which included teachers from English, math, special education, fine arts, visual arts, athletics, counseling and the library, will continue to meet both this summer and throughout the fall. It is hoped that construction can begin on the new northwest addition of the school (near the music wing) in early 2017.

Renovations at McCulloch Intermediate/Highland Park Middle School
A focus group, much like the one formed for HPHS, began meeting with architects in June. The group includes a wide group of campus staff, including Principal Dr. Laurie Hitzelberger, Assistant Principal Georgie Swize and teachers from science, foreign language, counseling, special education, fine arts and visual arts. The group reviewed designs at other newly-renovated middle schools and considered ideas to provide for the instructional needs of students and plan for future growth scenarios. The focus group will continue to meet throughout the year.
Renovations and rebuilding at the current elementary schools
In May, HPISD announced the rebuilding order for Bradfield, Hyer and University Park. Click here to read the full plans.

Because University Park Elementary will be the first to be rebuilt, a focus group will be formed soon to discuss the design. Committees will also be formed to identify memorials and other special items on the campus and to explore how they can be moved or replaced when the campus is rebuilt. The same process will occur for Bradfield and Hyer when their construction process draws closer.

A focus group to discuss renovation plans for Armstrong Elementary will likely be formed during the 2016-17 school year. 

HPISD hires Executive Director of Construction Services
Ed Levine has been named the new HPISD Executive Director of Construction Services. He will join the district June 27, and his responsibilities will include planning and development, implementation, coordination and oversight of district construction projects.

Levine comes to HPISD from Dallas ISD where he has served as Executive Director of Construction Services for the last five years. He was responsible for managing the $1.3 billion 2008 Bond Program and implementing the $1.6 billion 2015 Bond Program. Prior to joining Dallas ISD, Levine spent nearly 30 years with the City of Dallas, most recently serving as the Building Official, managing all aspects of the development process and more than 200 staff members.

Construction firm chosen for MIS, HPMS and HPHS
Lee Lewis has been selected as the Construction Manager At Risk for the secondary projects. Lee Lewis has extensive experience working with other school districts in the area, as well at at Highland Park Village and the Church of the Incarnation.

For more information, please visit HPISD's facilities update website.