New multipurpose activity centers were recently completed at Richardson ISD’s four high schools.
The 80,000-square-foot centers were funded through the district’s 2016 voter-approved $437 million bond package and include indoor practice fields, training areas, weight rooms and offices for coaches and staff, according to a May 12 news release from construction company Cadence McShane. The centers at Berkner, JJ Pearce and Richardson high schools opened last fall, while the center at Lake Highlands High School was completed in April.
“Bringing to life Richardson ISD’s large vision of providing four multipurpose centers to their high schools is something we are happy we could deliver,” Will Hodges, president of Cadence McShane, said in the release. “Knowing that so many students will be able to fully utilize the extensive amenities of these brand new facilities brings us a lot of joy.”
The spaces are shared between the athletics and fine arts programs at each school. Each multipurpose activity center was priced at $15 million, but in 2017 the board approved up to $2 million more per center when 8,000-square-foot boys’ and girls’ locker rooms were added at each site, Hayes said.
“Our community saw a need and rose to the occasion to best serve our kids and programs,” said Jeff Bradford, RISD executive director of fine arts.
The ability to practice despite severe weather will also allow RISD to better compete with other districts, said Bradford and Leslie Slovak, executive director of athletics.
“In years past, marching bands and drill teams pleaded for no rain during the months of August to November so they didn’t lose valuable instructional time,” Bradford said.
“Our kids no longer miss practices and reps due to inclement weather,” Slovak added.
The centers should give fine arts students a better chance to succeed, Bradford said.
“With the instructional and storage space provided by each of these facilities, all of the fine arts programs continue to thrive,” he said.
The two departments are working together to utilize the space as efficiently as possible, Bradford said.
“It has been great to see how well our athletic teams and fine arts programs work together to share this incredible facility,” he said.