Windy weather and threatening clouds failed to dampen the enthusiasm of residents, students and city and school district officials who gathered for Tuesday’s groundbreaking for the first new school to be built in Wilmer, Texas, in 15 years. More than 100 students and community members attended a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the new Wilmer Elementary School, now under construction in southeast Dallas County, at the corner of Belt Line Road and Goode St.
In his remarks, Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said as far back as 2005 Dallas ISD promised Wilmer residents the district would build and renovate the city’s schools. “A vision is a dream with a deadline,” Hinojosa said. Thanking residents who supported the Dallas school district’s 2015 bond program, he called the groundbreaking “the opportunity to fulfill that promise.”
Wilmer Mayor Emmanuel Wealthy-Williams described the new school as an “incredible beginning” for Wilmer that will eliminate the need for students to be bussed to other school districts. “Like churches, fire and police stations and a library, a school is a key pillar of a thriving city,” she said, thanking Dallas ISD for keeping its promise.
The ceremony was directed by Tanya Shelton, Dallas ISD’s executive director for elementary schools in Wilmer-Hutchins. Other speakers included Dallas ISD Trustee Maxie Johnson, State Rep. Carl Sherman and Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price. The event included the presentation of colors and Pledge of Allegiance by the Naval JROTC Color Guard of Wilmer-Hutchins High School, and performances by the Wilmer-Hutchins High School Band and a choral group from Kennedy-Curry Middle School.
When it opens next August, Wilmer Elementary School will consist of 84,000 square feet of classrooms and other learning spaces designed to serve 600 students in grades pre-K through five. The $23 million school will include a soccer field, basketball court and playground. Infrastructure improvements to serve the new facility will include expansion of nearby Goode Street to a four-lane thoroughfare with a traffic signal at Belt Line Road.
The project is a joint effort of IDG Architects; builder, Ratcliff Constructors; and program management firm, Jacobs.