School board approves new elementary school for Lantana

The Board of Trustees of Denton Independent School District voted unanimously Tuesday to build its next elementary school in Lantana.

The school, targeted to open for the 2014-15 school year, will be built on 12 acres of land that the district recently purchased on the southeast side of Lantana adjacent to the Fairlin neighborhood.

This is the third elementary school to be built for the fast-growing Lantana development and other areas in the southern section of the district. It will be Denton ISD’s 22nd elementary school.

The district currently has two elementary schools in Lantana. E.P. Rayzor Elementary, which opened in 2002 and currently houses 706 students. Blanton Elementary, which opened its doors in 2008, has an enrollment of 725.

In the next seven years, the area is anticipated to have about 1,800 elementary students. The capacity of a typical  Denton ISD elementary school is about 740 students.

“We are excited to announce a third elementary school will be built in Lantana.  Education has always been a top priority and our partnership with Denton ISD has allowed us to assist in creating a learning environment and facilities that are outstanding,” said Jake Wagner, executive vice president of Republic Property Group.

To help offset the costs of the new school, the Denton ISD is receiving a $1 million donation from the Lantana Education/Charitable Foundation.

“The partnership forged with the Lantana Foundation makes this a win-win for all involved. This acquisition is inclusive of all of site costs and infrastructure; an innovative approach to purchasing school sites,” said Dr. Jamie Wilson, superintendent of Denton ISD.

“The foundation was created for the benefit of the residents in Lantana, and the ability to contribute to Denton ISD achieves that goal,” Wagner said.

The school board is updating the elementary school design to reduce construction costs and minimize operating costs. The plans will incorporate the natural topography of the site and will include more sustainable features.

Key to this integrated approach will be a simplified roof design and utilization of a geothermal HVAC system.

In addition, the concept of utilizing a “bioswale” to collect rainwater flowing unrestricted off the roof will result in further savings by eliminating traditional underground storm collection.

The bioswale and surface water from the parking lots will discharge through a dissipater and natural vegetation to an eco-pond, which will be adapted into the school curriculum, school officials said.

Expansive windows will provide for daylight harvesting in classrooms, resulting in significantly lower energy costs and a reduction in the number of light fixtures by one-third.  As a result, operating costs are projected to be cut by approximately 50 percent.

“Our long relationship with the Lantana Foundation and Republic Property Group has benefited the community and the students of Denton Independent School District for the last 13 years,” Dr. Wilson said.

“We appreciate this partnership and believe it provides a model for other school districts, developers and communities to join together for the sake of education.”

Lantana, a master–planned residential development, opened in 2001. It currently has 2,800 homes with more than 4,000 planned at buildout. There are more than 8,000 residents who live in the development. All Lantana students attend Guyer High School.


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