The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved for North Grove Elementary to be designed as a two-story school on Thursday.

The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees met with architects from Corgan in a workshop to compare the maintenance, efficiency, safety, and personality between a one and two-story facility. Since the campus will be located in the middle of a residential community, the idea to maximize green space was essential.

The building is considered a hybrid structure, which would also include a courtyard centered in the building and the second floor would house fourth and fifth-grade classrooms.

Shelle Blaylock, Assistant Superintendent of Leadership and Academics, mentioned that two-story designs have upgraded since Howard Junior High was built. The hybrid design would also eliminate the sense of division.

“If I was to be an administrator in an elementary school, this is one that I think I would feel very comfortable in because of only the fourth and fifth grades being at the top. With some openness from the bottom going to the top, [it also] gives you the ability to hear what is happening up there,” Blaylock elaborated.

She added that the second story would give the older students a sense of responsibility and pride.

The elementary school will fit on 11.4 acres with a functional capacity of 550 students and a fire capacity of 650.

Architect Rebekah Braodfoor and Corgan Vice President David Safir presented the pros and cons related to costs and construction.

After Safir compared the two structures, he reconciled, “All in all, a two-story is a little more expensive than a one-story.”

He also estimated the two-story school would increase green space by five to 10 percent.

Jacob Perry, WISD Director of Facilities and Operations, reflected on the maintenance and safety of a two-story building. He noted a higher roof and elevator would be more costly to maintain. The structure would include fewer entry points, which would tighten security. He added that electronic doors also cost about $5,000 each.

The board unanimously approved the hybrid facility and will now gather input from campus principals, teachers and the public.

Representatives with Corgan will return to the next board meeting, scheduled for Nov. 12, with a variety of drafts of the exterior.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450