Construction at Hillcrest High School and the nearby Walnut Hill Pump Station caused many a traffic tizzy for nearby neighbors over the past year.

But the new Hillcrest principal, Joseph Sotelo, says construction, which started in 2017, should be done by December with parts facing Hillcrest Road done as early as the end of April.

“The water plant next door is also under construction, so it looks like we’re getting this massive Taj Mahal,” Sotelo says of the school project, a result of a 2015 Dallas ISD bond package. “Weather has slowed us down a little bit but we’re rockin’ and rollin’. The whole community is looking forward to it. The school wasn’t dilapidated, but it was time for a facelift.”

WRA Architects planned the renovation, which includes a new public entrance and administration offices, a two-story classroom addition with areas for independent study, upgrades to fine arts spaces and a 1,000-seat gymnasium with locker rooms and a tornado shelter, among other improvements. 

Historical photos of the school and students will be made into murals for the administrative wing.

Sotelo says the new facilities will help the school’s International Baccalaureate program and collegiate academy grow. 

“We’re in competition with other schools and private schools,” Sotelo says. “We enjoy having those private school students visit us. They take tours and shadow our students, and it’s great to see them see our school in a new light.”

Hillcrest highlights:

• Budget: $26.5 million 

• Size: 102,400 square feet total; 81,400 square feet of additions and 21,000 square feet of renovated areas

• 22 new classrooms off Hillcrest Avenue

• Seven classrooms and an administrative area off Lakehurst

• New competition gym and locker room with a storm shelter in the lower level

• New auxiliary gym in the courtyard

• Upgrades to existing classrooms, hallways, auditorium, cafeteria, kitchen, electrical systems, HVAC, lighting

• New parking lot on the northwest corner

Hillcrest High School

9924 Hillcrest Road

Enrollment: 1,200

Mascot: Panther 

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