As the Conroe Independent School District and its board of trustees work out the details for a proposed $511 million bond, design plans for a new high school in the Oak Ridge feeder zone have been released.
The district hopes to have the new Oak Ridge high school completed and open in August of 2018.
The architects designed the high school with technology in mind. It is expected to have more wireless support to allow for “ubiquitous” learning. Students and teachers can step outside the classroom for learning because the campus will be have WiFi throughout. The design includes “think tank” and collaboration spaces where students can come together and work outside of the classroom.
“The design is driven by some of the forward-thinking education design,” said Ian Powell, a partner at PBK Architects who worked on the design project. “The whole notion of placing young students, high school-aged students, in environments that tend to mirror the workplace that they might be in is very intentional.”
Aside from tech integration, the design includes classrooms for a robotics workspace, audio/video lab, graphics lab, as well as competition fields for softball, track and field, and baseball.
“Most importantly, the district wants the users – the families and the kids – to be proud of where they’re at and to understand that it’s a place of learning,” Powell said.
The need for a new Oak Ridge high school is a result of the district’s acute growth needs. To meet demand for facilities and classroom space, the district is putting together the final details of a proposed bond, which includes construction of the new high school. The decision to call for a November bond election is expected to be made during the Aug. 18 board meeting.
Without a second high school to reduce the pressure on the current 3,800-seat Oak Ridge high school and ninth grade campus, Conroe ISD’s demographic study projects that it will be at 141 percent capacity by the fall of 2024. The district currently adds about 1,400 students to area schools each year.