As Frisco ISD grows and the needs of the community evolve, the District strives to design for the students and staff of tomorrow, today. The Board of Trustees gathered for a workshop this past week to learn about plans in the works for two upcoming projects: high school #12 and a swim practice facility. Both projects were approved by voters under the 2018 bond program.
High school #12 will continue the community’s vision for FISD high schools, which feature abundant opportunities for students across numerous campuses. Smaller high schools provide students the ability to participate in academic, athletic and fine arts programs, as well as assume leadership roles in various clubs and organizations.
The swim practice facility will provide for additional practice space to accommodate the District’s robust swimming program. FISD has five times as many students participating in swimming and diving than when the Bruce Eubanks Natatorium opened in 2003.
High School #12
High school #12 is scheduled to open in 2022 northeast of Teel Parkway and Dakotah Road on a site adjacent to the future PGA headquarters and golf courses.
Corgan, the architectural firm designing the school, has been hard at work over the past year learning from students and staff what they want in the future school.
Students and staff were asked their perspective on the design of Frisco ISD’s existing high schools and what they think a future-ready campus would look like. There was a great deal of overlap in what staff and students were interested in.
Architecture students at the Career and Technical Education Center gave input through the initial planning and design stages of high school #12 and are excited about where the project is headed. With a focus on student-centered learning and needs, their input has been vital.
“The perspective of students is extremely important to the District,” said Todd Fouche, deputy superintendent of business and operations. “While they will not get covered parking as they requested, students should be reassured that we have listened to their input and implemented numerous changes to the design based on their needs.”
For example, based on input, the academic portion of the campus will be three stories to allow students and staff to get from class to class efficiently. Students also requested more outdoor learning spaces, flexible furniture, writable surfaces and open spaces.
The campus will blend in with surrounding planned buildings which will also be multiple stories and within the same design aesthetic, “Texas modern.”
With the design of the campus, the District is building for the school of tomorrow with open classrooms, natural light and flexible spaces to encourage the natural creativity of students. The campus will include a natural color palette and stone throughout the interior and exterior.
Students were consistently inspired by contemporary, modern looks with windows and expressed dismay at the thought of narrow hallways and expansive campuses.
In turn, the District has focused on six clear goals for the campus:
Flexible Environments - Provide a variety of flexible learning environments for students and teachers
Central Commons - Provide a central, multi-purpose commons
Interaction Opportunities - Create opportunities for interaction across curricula
Internal Connections - Incorporate strong visual connections throughout the building
Exterior Connections - Create connections between the interior and exterior
Outdoor Learning - Provide intentional outdoor learning environments
The library is currently planned for the third floor where it will overlook the commons and a courtyard designed with art students in mind. The collaborative focus of the library will echo throughout the campus and will be found everywhere from the teacher workrooms to the courtyards. The courtyards will have intentional learning spaces designed for small and large groups.
Frisco ISD continues to explore partnership opportunities for a fine arts facility approved by voters in the 2018 bond. The high school #12 site will not be considered for the location of the fine arts facility as it is not centrally located.
Swim Practice Facility
The District is early in the process of designing a swim practice facility to supplement the District’s existing natatorium under the guidance of Parkhill, Smith and Cooper. The swim practice facility will be located adjacent to the Bruce Eubanks Natatorium and Memorial Stadium on North County Road and has a targeted opening of fall 2021.
The practice pool will serve as a support facility to the Eubanks Natatorium, which will continue to be the main pool for competitions.
The swim practice facility will double the pool capacity of the District and is meant to be a duplicate of what already exists at the Eubanks Natatorium, including the same number of swim lanes and diving boards, but excluding the large spectator grandstand. The Eubanks Natatorium has a seating capacity of 800 and the current rendering of the new facility includes seating capacity for 300 spectators.
The swim practice facility will be one space that will provide creative solutions to three District needs:
A swim training facility that will double the number of swimmers who can practice at any given time with the District
Increased office space for athletic staff
Large, centrally located professional development training rooms to meet the needs of District staff
By building athletic office space within the new facility, the District is reallocating money originally earmarked in the 2018 bond program for remodeling the current athletic office space in the existing field house. While the previously intended remodel would have provided updated space, a conference room and storage, it would not have provided room to grow, with a limited capacity of 10 staff.
The professional development training rooms planned in the new design will be able to serve more than 200 staff when the retractable walls are pushed to the side. The training space is intended to be flexible with display boards, cabinetry, storage, a large foyer and partitions that can divide the space into four training rooms. The training rooms were originally planned for the new transportation facility on the east side of Frisco ISD and will now provide a centralized location.
While the practice facility is currently under visionary development with a number of changes likely, one of the interesting conceptual features includes a Hall of Honor that will highlight current students and alumni in a digital format on the wall.
The District looks forward to sharing the progress of these projects as developments are made.