Little Elm ISD Board of Trustees approves plans to build K-8 STEM Academy in
$15 million school in The Colony master planned community to feature Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics format
(The Colony, TX—June 19, 2012) The Little Elm ISD Board of School Trustees approved plans to build the district’s first K – 8 Academy at Monday night’s regular board meeting. The district plans to open the school as a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academy in the fall of 2015. The Academy will meet the district’s projected student growth through 2021. The new school will be located at The Tribute, a 1,500-acre master planned lakeside golf and resort community, in The Colony.
“The partnership forged with our local developers makes this a win-win for all involved. We are very excited to offer this innovative approach to learning for our community,” said Lynne Leuthard, superintendent of schools. “On the heels of announcing our new Digital Learning Initiative, the Academy will extend our vision of preparing our students for global success.”
Sally Coleman, LEISD Board President, indicated that the decision to open the Academy follows 18-months of research, including site visits by parents and staff to other schools across the state. Parents and community members also shaped the decision, studying several different magnet school concepts this past school year.
The announcement of the Academy caps a two-year engagement process involving financial restructuring by Linda Engle, the executive director of business services, and curricular leadership by Dr. Jennifer Porter, executive director of curriculum and instruction.
The District purchased the 32-acre school site on Lebanon Road in 2002 following the approval of a Bond Package by the community. Concurrent with the announcement of the Academy, the Board approved the issuance of $15 million in new bond debt for its construction, made possible through a partnership with Matthews Southwest, developer of The Tribute.
“We are committed to supporting exemplary schools within our communities,” said Jack Matthews, president of Matthews Southwest. “An Academy of this caliber is a tremendous amenity for the families in The Tribute and it will provide an outstanding education for the youth in this area.”
“The creation of a K-8 Academy will substantially increase The Tribute’s attractiveness to family buyers considering the West Frisco/FM 423 market area,” said Ted Wilson, Principal, Residential Strategies Inc., a company that provides research and consulting to the new home industry. “The Tribute has some of the finest amenities of any master planned community I’ve seen. With two golf courses, pools and a water setting, it is an extremely desirable option for both families and empty nesters.”
The Little Elm Independent School District encompasses 40 square miles in the southeast corner of Denton County on the east side of Lake Lewisville with more than 6,300 students enrolled. LEISD is one of the fastest growing districts in Texas and serves students who reside in Little Elm, Frisco, Hackberry, Lakewood Village, The Colony and Oak Point. It is rated by the Texas Education Agency as a TEA “Recognized” school district, with the majority of the district’s eight campuses earning an “Exemplary” rating.
It is the mission of the district to educate and prepare all students to adapt and excel in a competitive global community through partnerships and programs that facilitate academic excellence within a secure and supportive learning environment.
The district will now begin the planning and design phase of the project, looking to new, eco-friendly operating systems and infrastructure to support the school’s operations. Consequently, in another action item the Board authorized the district to begin negotiating fee structures for future projects from three architectural firms including Corgan, PBK and SHW Group.