February Featured Project: Lakewood Elementary

Lakewood Elementary School is known for academic excellence, strong neighborhood relationships and enthusiastic parent support. Dedicated in 1952, the original school building provides approximately 45,000 square feet, but today more than half of the learning spaces are located in deteriorating modular and portable buildings, and outstanding art and music programs are taught in small and unsuitable spaces. Despite these obstacles, enrollment has grown consistently over the past seven years. Faced with outdated and undersized facilities along with a lack of available funding from the district, the school’s parents group formed a 501c3 foundation to initiate and provide supporting funds for a much-needed addition and renovation. GFF was engaged by the Lakewood Elementary Expansion Foundation (LEEF) to prepare a Feasibility and Concept Design Study for expanding the school, and to lead the design effort for the development of construction documents.

The project will include renovation and reorganization of existing space, along with a major addition which will double the original size of the school. The combined facility will replace all modular classrooms with permanent construction, accommodating all learning spaces in a single structure to eliminate the need for students to move between buildings. Additional new classrooms will provide capacity for further growth, and new spaces specifically designed for art, music and science will improve program capabilities. A new larger kitchen and cafeteria will improve efficiency and reduce the number of lunch periods, and new parking and drives will improve vehicular traffic flow, increase safety, and provide adequate teacher parking.

All funding for the initial Feasibility Study/Concept Design phase was provided through private donations. Funding for the remaining design phases and for project construction will be provided by a combination of private donations and DISD bond funds. This will be only the second project for DISD where school bond funds have been supplemented by private contributions. http://www.leefdallas.org/