THE SITE SWAP

FORNEY HIGH SCHOOL

White conducting a District-wide Facility Assessment and Compregensive Master Plan, WRA brought a delicate matter before the Board. As a long-time K-12 specialist architect, WRA was able to foresee an eventual major facility impasse, and suggested the District consider a bold step to avert future complications. The idea involved switching two long-established campuses with each other. 

Forney High School occupoed a small 40-acre in-town site where it has been since the 1960’s. Forney Middle School was build on a large 70-acre site several miles east of the town in the early 1990’s when the town was still very rural. However, by the early 2000 the District’s enrollment began growing with demographics suggesting it would increase rapidly for the foreseeable future.

The projected space requirements for the high school indicated its available site area would only accommodate an enrollemtns of 1,200 by 2005, if not before then. Meanwhile, the middle school occupied a site with far more land area than its growth needed.

With the passafe of a $93,800,000 bond in 2002, WRA Architects worked with Forney ISD to consider the viability of switching the two campuses to better accomodate the Distrit’s increasing growth. WRA performed a series of dual-site studies and consulted with District officials for over a year on a wide array of options and their ramifications. The decision was made to switch the two schools with each other; the old in-town high school would be renocated into a new larger middle school, and the overly-large middle school site outside of town would become a modern state-of-the-art high school with a football stadium, performing arts complex, a CATE center, parking for 2,000 cars , and even room for a future indoor football practice field.

The transition of repurposing the two campuses with constant planning for the ever increasing enrollment, was completed in a multi-phase process over the period of several years. The high school campus was mater planned for an ultimate capacity of 2,000 students and has now been built out in several phases according to the Master Plan. The campus includes an 8,500-seat stadium, an athletic facility with an 80-yard indoor football practice field, an 850-seat auditorium, rhe full suite of performing arts facility, tennis courts, outdoor practice fields, a shared city- school public library, and a Career and Technology Education (CATE) center, all of which was designed by WRA Architects.