Keller ISD school board approves designs for new elementary schools

The Keller ISD board of trustees approved design concepts for Heritage Elementary and Florence Elementary at a board meeting Jan. 23. (Courtesy VLK Architects)
The Keller ISD board of trustees approved design concepts for Heritage Elementary and Florence Elementary at a board meeting Jan. 23. (Courtesy VLK Architects)

The Keller ISD board of trustees approved design concepts for Heritage Elementary and Florence Elementary at a board meeting Jan. 23. (Courtesy VLK Architects)

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The Keller ISD board of trustees approved design concepts for Heritage Elementary at a board meeting Jan. 23. (Courtesy VLK Architects)
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The Keller ISD board of tustees approved design concepts for Florence Elementary at a board meeting Jan. 23. (Courtesy VLK Architects)
Keller ISD voters first approved the construction of two new elementary schools to replace Florence and Heritage elementary schools in November 2019.

At a board meeting Jan. 23, the Keller ISD Board of Trustees approved designs for both schools by VLK Architects. Both elementary school projects are scheduled to be completed in summer 2021, according to district officials.

“I can’t tell you how happy and proud and excited I am,” VLK Architects CEO Sloan Harris said. “This is a journey that started ... over two years ago.”

Featuring almost identical floor plans, both elementary schools will be constructed on adjacent, available property while school remains in session, district officials said. The cost of both elementary schools will total more than $60 million.

“After we identified the first two projects, VLK held several meetings regarding campus administration, campus staff, students and parents in order to develop the floor plans and designs,” KISD Director of Property Management Billy Kidd said.


In an effort to replace two ageing facilities and meet district long-range planning efforts, both schools will feature a two-story concept that includes a two-story, central library.

Each school will have separate pods for special classes, classrooms organized by pod and grade level, outdoor science learning areas, think spaces, flex spaces and cafeterias close to the administration offices in order to accommodate visiting parents.

The most requested features for the new elementary schools were warm, natural lighting; glass and stone architecture; wide sidewalks and benches; a covered playground and colored glass or a mosaic wall, Harris said.

“That gives us an idea of how to develop the architectural vocabulary for the project and provide something the community likes,” Harris said.

According to Harris, another focus was parent pickup and drop-off and the necessity of stacking space for cars on each campus.

“We’ve probably quadrupled, if not more, the on-site stacking space and have more separated entrances and exits from the current campuses,” he said.
By Ian Pribanic
Ian Pribanic covers city government, transportation, business and education news for Community Impact Newspaper in the Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth areas. A Washington D.C. native and University of North Texas graduate, Ian was previously an editor for papers in Oklahoma, West Texas and for Community Impact in New Braunfels.


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