HPISD ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR REBUILDING ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
2016/17: 5TH SCHOOL UNDER CONSTRUCTION
2017/18: UP UNDER CONSTRUCTION
2018/19: BRADFIELD UNDER CONSTRUCTION (BRADFIELD AT HYER, HYER AT 5TH SCHOOL)
2019/20: HYER UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Highland Park ISD has announced the construction schedule for the three elementary schools that will be rebuilt as part of a new facilities plan approved by voters last fall. The three elementary schools, University Park, Bradfield and Hyer, were initially built in the 1920s and 1940s and, despite continued additions through the years, are at or above capacity.
This summer, HPISD will begin construction on a new elementary school that will be used temporarily by students while the three schools are each being rebuilt over a three year period. After much planning and deliberation by district officials, and with the consideration of students and parents always the primary focus, the order of rebuilding schools will proceed as follows:
2016-17 School Year
The fifth elementary school will be built and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2017. Plans will be made throughout the year to move students and staff from University Park (UP) Elementary into the new campus immediately upon completion of construction.
2017-18 School Year
UP Elementary will hold classes in the fifth elementary. The current UP campus will be rebuilt, and UP will move back to its new campus to begin the 2018-19 school year.
2018-19 School Year
In the summer of 2018, Hyer will move into the fifth elementary, where it will hold classes for two school years. Bradfield will then move into the current Hyer Elementary campus while the current Bradfield campus is rebuilt. Bradfield will move back to its new campus to begin the 2019-20 school year.
2019-20 School Year
Hyer will continue to hold classes at the fifth elementary while the current Hyer campus is rebuilt.
2020-21 School Year
Hyer will move to its new campus to begin the 2020-21 school year. Elementary boundaries will be redrawn, and the fifth elementary will open as its own, stand-alone campus.
UP Elementary's physical condition and small classrooms caused it to be the first elementary selected to be rebuilt. The current UP auditorium is doubling as a classroom, and the Passport to Spanish teacher travels from classroom to classroom with her teaching materials on a cart because she does not have a dedicated classroom.
Moving Hyer into the 5th elementary for two years and Bradfield into the current Hyer campus was a difficult decision, but one that began to make the most sense as the issue was studied. The decision to move Bradfield to the current Hyer campus was made with the consideration of students and parents in mind, particularly because Hyer is much closer to Bradfield's attendance zone than the new school, which will reduce their daily commute while Bradfield is being rebuilt.
"Having Bradfield students attend school at the current Hyer campus for a year will mean our Bradfield parents will not have to travel from the southwest corner of the district to the furthest northeast corner," HPISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg said. "Had Bradfield students attended the new school, they would have had a longer commute that would have included going through at least one additional school zone each day during busy morning and afternoon times. Officials from the City of UP and the Town of HP agree that this is the best option for district parents and residents."
Because the new elementary school will be located in Hyer's current attendance zone, it poses the least inconvenience for parents and students in the area. It is likely that many Hyer students will be able to walk or ride their bike to the new school while Bradfield and Hyer are being rebuilt. Moreover, it will put Hyer students into a brand new school with larger classrooms, flexible learning spaces and an outdoor learning environment one year earlier than if they would have stayed at Hyer.
"In my opinion, I think the Hyer students and teachers will respond well to having a consistent learning environment for two years at the new campus," Hyer Principal Jeremy Gilbert said. "It will help us as we establish routines and schedules, which is always important when moving to a new campus."
"Traffic in the Park Cities is already congested, so I am in support of anything that makes our parents' morning and afternoon trips across the district easier," Bradfield Principal Chris Brunner said. "Regardless of which campus we are in, we will remain Bradfield Broncos and we will continue to offer an excellent education to all of our students."
District officials realize that any plan to rebuild three schools will create challenges for parents but believe that the end result will be best for students.
"Our goal from the outset has been to minimize disruptions for our parents and students," Dr. Trigg said. "Ultimately, we know this will cause some inconveniences for our parents, but we believe that having these new learning facilities for our students over the long term will be worth the temporary inconvenience."
HPISD will begin working with the neighbors, parents and staff at each school to receive input on plans for the new school. In addition, the district will work closely with campus committees to relocate memorials that are currently located on each campus, as well as to salvage-as much as possible-equipment and supplies that have been donated to the schools over time.
HPISD is committed to creating an open and transparent process as each school is rebuilt, and the district will continue to post information on www.hpisd.org/facilities.
For any questions or comments about the rebuilding order and process, please email district administration at email@example.com, or contact your campus principal.