Trustees unanimously approve plan to address three schools most damaged by October tornadoes

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Following the Oct. 20 tornadoes that caused extensive damage to the campuses, Dallas ISD trustees unanimously approved a plan Thursday night to renovate Thomas Jefferson High School and build a new consolidated pre-K through eighth-grade campus to replace Walnut Hill Elementary School and Cary Middle School.

The goal is to have students attend the permanent locations for the 2022–2023 school year.

Under the approved plan, much of the existing TJ campus will remain and receive needed renovations. The cafeteria/kitchen, weight room/dance studio, and culinary/ROTC areas will be demolished. Additions will be added to the existing building and the addition under construction will be completed. This project’s price tag is currently capped at just over $82 million.

Meanwhile, the existing Cary Middle School will be demolished and replaced by a new pre-K through eighth-grade campus serving students currently zoned to Walnut Hill Elementary and Cary. The new building will provide separate academic spaces for the elementary and middle school students with shared resources such as library, cafeteria and courtyard spaces.

The new site will incorporate an outdoor courtyard space, shared practice field for middle school students, and secure entry for students and parents. This project’s price tag is currently capped at just under $50 million.

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