Richardson ISD

Richardson ISD: Board directed architects to proceed with design of a two-story building, unlike the one rendered above, that would not require a zoning variance.

Updated: The board invites parent and resident feedback related to the boundary recommendations, and a public hearing will be held Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. at the RISD Administration Building. The board expects to vote on final attendance boundaries at its Oct. 3 regular meeting.

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Parents with signs protesting the construction of a new Lake Highlands school lined the sidewalk in front of district headquarters at the Richardson ISD board meeting Monday, where members heard initial attendance zone recommendations as well as rationale for the a new elementary school on White Rock Trail, which is meant to address overcrowding in the district. The signs won’t stop the school’s construction, it seems.

We’ve heard from both opponents of and supporters of the new school.

While no one argues that overcrowding is a problem, members of the We Have A Voice effort say the planned location of the new elementary school is not only inappropriate in various ways but also argues its construction would violate old deed restrictions.

“We work hard to create that ‘Small Town Neighborhood in the City’ that Lake Highlands is supposed to be,” one of the We Have A Voice Founders, Ali Cullum, has said, “and we don’t think it’s fair to be steamrolled, especially on something as important as the environment in which our children will be educated. Especially when that environment overlaps into the environment they come home to.”

On the other hand, Nathan Jacks, founder of the opposing website, We Need A School, says he created it in collaboration “with a large group of parents concerned about the overcrowding at White Rock Elementary,” he says. “We want the Dallas City Council and Richardson ISD board to know many people support the new school. Our website makes it easier for supporters to notify the Dallas City Council and the RISD Board.”

All those stakeholders had a chance to offer feedback related to proposed boundaries at Monday’s meeting. And trustees presented, in the words of the agenda, “preliminary design decisions on the configuration of the school, including elements from the most recent community survey, such as the location of the outdoor play areas, number of floors and aesthetic design of the exterior facade.”

Proposed boundary recommendations

Proposed boundary recommendations

Here is is link to a higher resolution version.

Trustees are expected to make a final decision on boundaries at the Oct. 3 meeting.

The district must obtain demolition and building permits from the city of Dallas in order to open the school in August of 2018, as planned.

Members of We Have A Voice streamed parts of the meeting on Facebook (below), and Jacks posted his meeting statement on We Need A School.