The construction of the three new elementary schools is scheduled to begin near the end of the school year.
Two of the new schools will be in west Ector County – west of Loop 338. One is at Kellus-Turner Park (below left) and one is just south of the intersection of 16th Street and Knox (below right). The third site is in northeast Odessa, near the intersection of 87th Street and Dawn (below center).
Each school will boast a unique vinyl wall covering that illustrates topics related to education and the history of Odessa.Our city was founded as a train stop and later became an oil town. Therefore, trains and movement will be a central theme at all three of the schools.
The same floor plan will be used at all three locations. It is called prototype design and it brings a lot of benefits including cost efficiencies because items are bid in larger numbers and are cheaper than individual designs and construction for each location.
The floor plan you see below is the first floor and has standard features. The secure entrance and administrative offices are in the front with the two-story classroom wing to the right. This is the first two-story school built in Odessa in many years, though school districts across the state build up as it requires less land to be bought. That is becoming an issue in Ector County like never before, especially when mineral rights come into question. Two-story buildings can also be more cost effective for utilities, and tend to be safer due to the reduction of entrances and exits.
All three schools will have a large common area which includes a black box theatre area for programs and presentations. There will be full-size gym plus another full-size covered gym area outside. This can serve a double purpose as a pickup and drop off area for kids before and after school. We are designing the parent drop-off areas to be as far away as possible from the bus drop off areas. There are no traditional libraries in these three schools, as students use technology more and more to access information. Our district continues to investigate ways to allow students to properly use phones and tablets in the classroom making the idea of one large, central depot for books less useful. Media hubs with these types of adjustments incorporated into each grade level pod will create media centers for teachers and students. Books and book shelves will be there certainly, but a very strong wireless internet service will provide access to on-line resources to accompany the books.
The designs allow for a lot of natural light inside the buildings. We are using a method called “tilt up” construction which is very quick and cost effective. It is also extremely durable because it utilizes concrete walls. It is a proven method of construction that will be used for the first time in ECISD.All of the classroom walls move by utilizing a folding wall system that uses current technology (second interior drawing below shows a grade level hub.) Many of the walls are glass so you can see in and see out, and a grand staircase leads from the common area to the second floor.