Courtesy of: IONmesquite.com By Kent Miller
District officials on Wednesday said MISD’s newest campus – Dr. Linda Henrie Elementary School – will indeed be ready when the school bell rings on the morning of Aug. 24.
“We are confident the school will be completed in August and open to students on the first day of school,” said Michael Coffey, MISD’s assistant superintendent for administrative services.
Trustees approved naming the school – MISD’s 33rd elementary campus – after Henrie in May 2014. Construction on the project began in February 2014 with a guaranteed maximum price of $21.9 million. Coffey, though, said the current budget estimates show the project should come in at just under $21 million.
The majority of students at the new school – which is located at Lawson and Lasater roads just south of U.S. Interstate 20 – will come from Mackey Elementary. Coffey said first-year enrollment is expected to be about 935 students, which is based on the students who were living in the attendance zone at the time boundaries were set. Parents should have already been notified by letter that their children would be attending Henrie.
Henrie Elementary, which will be the district's largest elementary campus, will contain 50 classrooms and be able to accommodate up to 1,000 students. It will feature several elements that are relatively new to the district or are not common – such as geothermal heating and cooling units, a learning courtyard and a ramp system for access to the second floor of the building. Coffey said the geothermal heating and cooling technology is expected to provide the district with a 30-40 percent savings on utilities.
The learning courtyard, Coffey said, will be composed of three circular areas with bench seating around each area where outdoor instruction can take place. He said trees and low-water and low-maintenance vegetation will be used for landscaping and there will also be a walking trail behind the school with trees and low-maintenance vegetation.
“The learning courtyard has turned out especially nice with its inlaid Mesquite ISD logo surrounded by names of board members and Dr. Henrie,” Coffey said.
Lisa Millsaps, who was formerly the principal at Mackey, will be Henrie Elementary’s first principal and Norma Perez, a Title I teacher at Mackey, will serve as assistant principal.
A dedication ceremony is slated for Sept. 27 at the school, which is being built as part of the 2007 bond program approved by MISD voters.
Henrie retired this summer after spending more than 40 years with MISD – first as a business teacher at Mesquite High School for 17 years. She served as deputy superintendent before being named the district’s leader in July 2005.