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New Frisco ISD prototype elementary school design almost finished
Frisco ISD’s board of trustees gave input on the district’s new prototype elementary school design at a regular meeting Monday, paving the way for new elementary schools.
Richard Wilkinson, the district’s deputy superintendent for business and operations, told trustees to make as many suggestions as they want so the design can begin its final stages.
“I would encourage you to be very critical of this prototype because we want to make sure you’re pleased with what we’re planning,” he said. “We certainly hope this prototype will be the one used for six or seven years or so. We want you to be happy with it.”
Trey Laird, an internal practice director at architectural firm SHW Group, said the design is nearly complete.
“We just want to show you a couple of subtle tweaks we’ve made since our last presentation a couple of months ago,” he said.
When the design is finally approved, it will be used in Frisco ISD’s next elementary schools for several years. The design may be slightly modified to fit the requirements of the sites each elementary school will be located at, however.
The changes primarily related to aspects of the design that weren’t functionally related, such as the appearance of the prototype’s main and secondary entrances. The board gave consensus votes on all the issues, although there were certain aspects that required them to compromise.
One of those aspects was the design of the library that would be used in the prototype. Laird presented three options to the board – a baseline as well as two options featuring decorative wooden trusses in the library’s ceiling.
The first option with trusses, which used a less intricate design, would cost $40,000, and the second option, with a more complex design, would cost $55,000.
While the trustees all liked the design, the pricing made them unfeasible.
“As much as I love them – and I think they’re gorgeous – that’s the cost of a teacher,” board president Renée Ehmke said.
Other decisions the board made involved the height of the secondary entrances, the design of the primary entrance, the shape of the library and similar matters. Many of the changes SHW made to the design after its last discussion with the board were made to the betterment of the prototype’s cost and future operating expenses.
“There’s a little more complexity with our original design [of the library], so we wanted to come up with something a little simpler, a little easier to build,” Laird said. “Some of the shading and windows will help with natural lighting [eliminating the need for more light fixtures].”