BENBROOK — Turning onto a curve on Jerry Dunn Parkway, Fort Worth ISD’s next elementary school stands out on a hill nestled between homes.
But the $58.7 million building is not yet ready to welcome students. Interior steel supports are exposed as construction crews finish the bones of the elementary school.
The yet-to-be-named school is nearing the halfway point of construction, according to Fort Worth ISD officials. The 2021 bond-funded elementary campus is expected to hold its first day of school in August.
“We feel good about the way things are progressing,” Joseph Coburn, the district’s chief of operations, told the Fort Worth Report.
District officials see the two-story, 120,000-square-foot elementary school as a way to alleviate overcrowding at Westpark Elementary, a school a mile west on Jerry Dunn Parkway. The southwest portion of Fort Worth ISD is more suburban and growing with new subdivisions, while the overall district has seen an enrollment decline.
Coburn acknowledges the August opening is part of an aggressive timeline. However, he expects the new elementary school to be ready for the start of the 2023-24 school year.
February’s ice storm, though, made crews lose a week of construction time, Coburn said.
“Losing that week made us nervous,” Coburn said.
Despite that and inflation uncertainty, the next major milestone for the school is when the exterior work is waterproof and crews can begin to finish the interior, Coburn said.
In her weekly newsletter, Superintendent Angélica Ramsey described the construction as coming along “beautifully.”
The new elementary school in Benbrook is the first of 27 projects that the voter-approved $1.2 billion bond will fund. Currently, the district has eight construction projects, including three new elementary schools that now have architects, Ramsey said.
More are expected to start soon.
“To ensure that each project stays on schedule and is completed by the best contractors, we will be moving forward with one to two projects per month throughout the year,” Ramsey said.
Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise journalist 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.