Tomball ISD to improve older campuses, transportation

After opening three new schools in August, Tomball ISD is focusing on renovations at three older campuses within the district—Decker Prairie Elementary School, Lakewood Elementary School and Tomball Junior High School.

Representatives from Houston-based VLK Architects gave a conceptual presentation during the Nov. 10 TISD school board workshop meeting to show designs for the phases 3 and 4 renovations, which will be carried out over the next year.

Todd Lien, VLK principal for the education sector, said the architecture firm has been partnering with members of the TISD board and administrators to identify improvements at existing campuses.

“We have worked closely with [Chief Financial Officer] Jim [Ross] and [Project Manager] Gary [Hutton] to define the scope of work,” Lien said. “In the first phases, we renovated the front of the [elementary schools] and created a secure vestibule. Phases 3 and 4 go into the rest of the work to renovate each one of those campuses.”

Lien said the scope of work for Decker Prairie and Lakewood elementary schools also includes mechanical upgrades. The concept designs for both schools also feature a new entryway as well as new carpeting, windows and doors.

Improving transportation

The presentation also included Phase 4 concept design plans, which will include upgrades to district parking facilities and the addition of a student drop-off area at Tomball Junior High.

According to the presentation, a school bus parking center will be built on Baker Drive across from the district’s existing transportation office. The lot will include space for 31 school buses and 31 cars as well as chain link fences and overhead lighting for safety.

In addition, the design for the drop-off area includes a new entrance at the south side of Tomball Junior High, 88 new parking spaces, a canopy and overhead lighting.

Lien said the new drop-off area will help to keep the surrounding streets clear while parents are waiting in cars to pick up their children.

“This will help to alleviate some congestion on Quinn Road by getting cars off of the street and bringing them onto the site to loop around,” Lien said. “We’ll also be adding a canopy for the kids to stand and provide shelter from the elements.”

Timeline for completion

Final construction plans are expected to be complete in January 2016, and construction of phases 3 and 4 are slated to be complete by August 2016 in time for the 2016-17 school year.

After completing plans for phases 3 and 4, Hutton said the district will turn its attention to planning for Phase 5. The next phase will include constructing an agriculture barn for district use and weight room additions to Tomball and Willow Wood junior high schools.

“Work toward phases 3 and 4 will begin immediately after we receive board approval,” Hutton said. “It will be done by the end of next year. We will come back with [plans for] Phase 5 after we know where we stand.”
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