Written by Jess Paniszczyn
Teachers, administrators, politicians and parents gathered in an empty field across from the intersection of Ranch Trail and Lost Canyon Rd. in Irving for the ground breaking of Coppell ISD’s Richard J. Lee Elementary School. Located near North Lake and set on 12 acres, the 95,000 square foot, Net Zero-ready school is designed to accommodate up to 740 students. The school should be ready for its first students by the fall of 2014.
“This is exciting for the Coppell Independent School District,” said Jeff Turner, CISD’s Superintendant of Schools. “It is the first building that we have built in quite some time. The Coppell ISD has been an outstanding school system for a long, long time… These houses over here are filled with Coppell ISD students because they are moving here to go to our school system.
“This is a building designed by teachers for kids of the 21st century... We have designed the school around what we have learned from our kids over the last 10 years of talking with them and looking at different learning styles and ways of teaching. We have come to believe in a very student-centered classroom, not so much dominated by a teacher. So we have designed this school to be a student centered place where there aren’t as many walls and there is movement between grade levels and students. There are lots of collaborative spaces where students can work on projects, as well as more traditional classrooms. It will be one of those buildings that is flexible and lends itself to a lot of different opportunities for teachers and students to interact and learn.
“We are doing a wonderful job in our school system trying to keep up with the changes occurring in society, preparing kids for their future in this 21st century. I am very proud of our staff for being able to do that. This building will give us an opportunity to facilitate 21st century education.