Boxes of unpacked school supplies sat stacked in a classroom corner. Fourth-graders bustled around the temporary, portable classroom. Students clustered in groups. Some flew paper airplanes. Others decorated origami fortune tellers.
The last day of the school year at Parkview Elementary School, 6900 Bayberry Drive, saw mixed emotions for teachers and students. They won’t just miss the faces they became accustomed to seeing every day, but they are excited for the new building that’s to come.
“I had them all year. I’m going to miss them,” said Amy Lay, a fourth-grade bilingual Vietnamese teacher.
This was Lay’s 13th year at the school. She’s also feeling sentimental about the current building, which will be demolished soon. A new building is expected to be ready for use in the next school year.
Lay has only seen part of the blueprint. She’s not sure how it will turn out, she said, but she knows it’ll be a big surprise for her.
Keller ISD voters approved a $315 million bond in 2019 that called for the replacement of Parkview Elementary School, which was built in 1980. The new campus is expected to cost $33.3 million.
Contractors started to remove part of Parkview Elementary in summer 2021. Keller ISD installed temporary, portable classrooms to accommodate some students and teachers for the 2021-22 school year.
Alma Singer, a fourth-grade English and reading teacher, said the new building will be a blank slate.
“We get to fill it with all the memories with our kids, and post all the students’ accomplishments all over the school,” Singer said.
Eight-year-old Tarren Barnes likes going to school, but he’s ready to take a break from daily learning.
“Sometimes we have to go up and talk to the whole class, and I kind of have stage fright,” Tarren said.
Second-grader Macie Austin may hold her birthday party in the summer at her aunt’s place, which has a big swimming pool. She is going to swim and do gymnastics through the summer.
“I do cartwheels and handstands everyday,” Macie said.
The children and faculty are like her second family, Macie said. Even though she can see what they’re doing over the summer on social media, that’s not the same as seeing them in person, she said.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Singer said. “Happy because we start summer, but kind of sad because the kids are leaving.”
But it brings joy to her knowing that she’ll see them in the hallways again next school year.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on May 27, 2022, to clarify Parkview Elementary’s address. The school is at 6900 Bayberry Drive in Fort Worth.
Chongyang Zhang is a summer fellow reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.