Saturday, March 1, 2008
Dallas ISD’s Arts Magnet to return to Arts District April 21
Scheduled spring break move was slightly delayed, but seniors are excited to study at new campus before graduation.
DALLAS Students from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts will be welcomed back to the school’s original campus, now under a $55 million renovation and expansion, on Monday, April 21, 2008.
The move during the school year keeps a promise made by district staff that this year's graduating class would have an opportunity to attend classes at the original campus before they receive their diplomas.
"The move back to the Arts District will begin an exciting new chapter in the school's rich and storied history," said Superintendent of Schools Michael Hinojosa. "While the school is already known for its outstanding graduates and teachers, the renovated campus will likely be a national showcase for other districts around the country to emulate."
The initial plan was for students and staff to return to campus after spring break. The school's Site-Based Decision-Making Committee, after learning that some street construction in the Arts District is delayed and that many of the classrooms in the historic 1922 building still need finishing touches, chose to move in time for the final six weeks of school.
"It was important to develop a consensus from the key stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition into the renovated campus,” said Hinojosa. “While everyone wants to resume classes at the original campus as soon as possible, it makes sense to give construction crews a little more time to get it completely ready to hold classes."
Built in 1922, the school was the original resident of what is now known as Dallas' Arts District. In its redeveloped state, the school will be another architectural cornerstone in the vibrant district that has grown up around the school. To address the school’s severely overcrowded condition, it was renovated and expanded with funds from the 2002 bond program and $33.3 million in donations raised by the school's Advisory Board through the private sector.
"We have been pleased to work with a school district that has upheld its promise these students can seamlessly move back into the best learning laboratory in the nation," said I.D. (Nash) Flores III, Chairman of the Arts Magnet Building Campaign. "Our dream is nearly realized. We are grateful for the leadership of Dr. Hinojosa and the collaboration of the school’s faculty, students and parents to come to a decision that works for everyone."
In addition to renovations at Booker T. Washington's original campus, the Arts District is undergoing a complete revival with the construction of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House and the Dee and Charles Wyly Theater. Construction will continue on those facilities for the next several months.
"We know that traffic is going to be a challenge in the area for quite some time, including during and after we move back to our campus," said Ruth Woodward, the school's principal. "At the same time, we know our students are very excited about getting the opportunity to attend classes in our new building. There is no way that we will be able to say thank you enough, except for our students to contribute their talents back to the city of Dallas."
Source: Dallas Independent School District
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