The first phase of major changes to Lake Highlands High School was set into motion Dec. 3 when Richardson ISD trustees approved a guaranteed maximum price of $61 million for construction of a new multipurpose activity center, among other items.
District staff originally earmarked about $48 million of 2016 bond funds for the entire project, but that cost was revised to include requests made by a committee of staff members, students and community members, according to Assistant Superintendent Sandra Hayes.
“It’s important to me to get this right based on what the community is telling us because this is an investment in a facility that is going to last for 50 years, so I’m okay with increasing the scope to match the design,” trustee Kristin Kuhne said.
To meet the needs voiced by the committee, the district will need to set aside an additional $12.6 million for the project. Hayes said additional funding can be drawn through the sale of the district’s White Rock Trail property as well as interest earnings and other dollars reserved for anticipated growth in Lake Highlands.
“We are not taking away from existing bond projects or stopping any planned projects,” she said.
The renovations will be delivered in three phases beginning in January and wrapping up at the end of 2020. Changes include the addition of more classrooms, a city-mandated storm shelter, a stand-alone multipurpose activity center, a new wing for career and technical education, and a new library. The project will also consolidate three separate cafeterias into one.