Editor’s note: This is the second post in a new series, spotlighting the work of Hillcrest High School journalism students. All content was created and submitted by the students themselves and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Advocate. Preston Hollow editor Elizabeth Barbee reviews the pieces and occasionally edits them for clarity. Contact her at 

$1.6 billion Dallas ISD bond approved

By Delaney Shi

At the end of last school year, many rumors were circulating pertaining to the future of the interior and exterior of the school. There was talk about developers demolishing the school and completely rebuilding it from the bottom up over the summer and students having to relocate for most or part of the school year. All of these speculations lead back to the Dallas ISD 2015 bond program, which was approved on Tuesday, November 3.

“We won’t know exactly what it looks like until they get the architects [started] on it,” principal Dr. Leeann Bartee said. “Very quickly I’ll start assembling interested parties: alumni, community members, trustees, current campus staff [and various] club directors to make sure we’ve really narrowed down what our needs are at this point and then we’ll start working with the architect, so it will take a little while before you’ll see anything happening here because it will all be planning and conversations.”

Voters recently approved the $1.6 billion bond package for DallasISD. For DallasISD as a whole, the money is expected to be put towards building nine new schools, 326 new classrooms, creating new educational programs and improving various facilities. The $1.6 billion has been created through taxpayer dollars, and although the bond has passed, there will not be any major increase in taxes. For Hillcrest, the improvements are expected to take place over the summers and during school years in the future, and there are different proposals as to how construction and demolition will be handled.

“The effort is to always try to do as much of the most disruptive pieces of construction during summertime,” Bartee said. “Major demolitions and things like that will try to be done during those times. On some campuses, I’ve seen portables moved in and as different parts of the building were worked on, different classrooms would move out into the portables and be there until the work was done. Then they would move back in and a new group of teachers would [move] in [to the portables].”

For Hillcrest, the bond program is expected to provide 32 new classrooms, gym and locker room enhancements, cafeteria and auditorium enhancements, roof improvements, window and door improvements, interior and exterior improvements, plumbing improvements, and technology improvements. Technology improvements are expected to include iPads and laptops being available to students, more presentation centers, better wireless connections, and increased bandwidth. Overall, the bond program will put $465 million towards constructing nine new and replacement schools, $195 million for expanding facilities and constructing new classrooms, $233 million for educational improvements, $92 million for implementing new educational programs, $500 million for exterior and interior improvements and $105 million for acquiring new land for schools.

Many people may remember the DallasISD bond program from 2008; the full implementations of that are expected to be completed by August of 2016, and the time it will take to complete the 2015 bond program is expected to take as long or possibly longer. Improvements will also be made to feeder schools such as Benjamin Franklin Middle School in hopes of improving DallasISD schools as a whole.

‘“I consider it an incredible honor, as does the rest of the administrative staff, to be a part of a school that has a legacy like Hillcrest,” Dr. Bartee said. “We have multiple generations that call this their high school home and I want that to continue for centuries into the future.”

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