Trophy Club, TX—Autumn is here, and the schools have opened their doors for another academic year. But when some of the students in the Northwest Independent School District arrived at their newly built Byron Nelson High School, many didn't know they were walking into a palace.
This school is massive, at over 500,000 square feet, complete with 3 gymnasiums, a two-story library, and even a coffee shop on campus.
According to Dennis McCreary, Assistant Superintendent for Facilities, Planning and Construction, Byron Nelson High, named after the great golf legend, was built with both the curriculum and the environment in mind. "What we did as far as energy efficiency is we really zeroed in on those features that are cost effective". Some of these cost effective environmental measures include a geothermal heating and cooling system, with an ac unit for each room. They have efficient lighting, as well as abundant natural lighting, with motion sensors placed in each room to automatically turn off lights in case they were accidentally left on.
They are even cutting back on books. You may ask how can that be possible, but mini notebook computers were given to each and every student. Lesley Weaver, Director of Communications, says these small laptops are a great addition. "They can take notes on it. They can do research on it. They can do their assignments on it, and their homework". I would imagine no Internet surfing.
The students seem to love their new school. I got the feeling that they liked the fact that the juniors and seniors were absent from the school this year, and that they would be the upper classmen in the next couple of years. I talked with two students about their new school. Freshman Robyn O'Neal and Si Alford are both happy to be there. "I was very impressed with it. I thought it was huge first of all," said O'Neal. Si commented on the outdoor dining. "Ya get to go outside and eat lunch on the patio and see a really cool view". This cool view is because the school was built on land that backs up to the Army Corps of Engineers' property, which means nothing will ever be built on it, ensuring a great view for generations of students to come.