Richardson ISD’s new Lake Highlands Middle School is set to open in August 2024, but priced $11 million higher than expected.
At its April 11 meeting, the Richardson ISD School Board approved the guaranteed maximum price of $81 million for the project. The figure is about $11 million higher than originally forecast.
Rising construction costs and supply chain disruptions exacerbated by the pandemic have driven prices higher, according to the district.
The Lake Highlands project is funded by a $750 million voter-approved bond package. The obligation results in no increase in the tax rate, according to district figures.
The project is part of the district’s effort to move sixth-grade students from elementary school campuses to schools that serve students in grades 6-8. The move is intended to provide sixth-graders with more academic activities and opportunities, according to the district.
Additionally, the middle school format will create more space in elementary schools, allowing the district to fully implement its pre-kindergarten program, according to school officials.
Lake Highlands will be the first school to operate under the district’s new middle school model.
The new three-story middle school will accommodate up to 1,500 students, the district said.
Demolition of the old building is expected to take place between August 2024 and December 2024, once the Lake Highlands Middle School project is complete, according to the district. Final works on parking lots, tennis courts and landscaping are expected to be completed by December 31, 2024.
Groundbreaking for the new Lake Highlands Middle School will begin immediately after the end of the 2021-22 school year, the district said.
The entire presentation of the school board is available in line.