Belton ISD students play architect for a day, share ambitious designs for future schools

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 4:57 PM CDT
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - A group of Belton ISD students got to play architect for a day by providing input in the design of future Belton ISD elementary schools.

The students, ranging from 4th to 6th graders, spent Wednesday meeting with a team of architects to discuss design ideas. The students walked through the Belton New Tech High School and the Belton Early Childhood School to point out what designs they liked and disliked.

Then the students were given an opportunity to share their own unique ideas about what they’d like to see in an elementary school.

“I feel like there should be more stalls. Usually whenever my class takes a bathroom break, a bunch of girls would have to wait,” said 3rd grader Aliyah Davis.

5th grader Dori Sawyer proposed simply more room for physical activity. “I would like more places to move around and just get your wiggles out,” she said.

The district’s superintendent, Matt Smith, said it is currently in the middle of a growth spurt. Smith said this year the district grew by about 700 students. And although there is no bond election scheduled yet, he said early planning is crucial.

“With that kind of growth, I know that we’re going to have to build new schools in the future, so we wanted to go through the design process now,” Smith said. “What we do on a daily basis is supposed to impact students - so who is better to guide our work than our students?”

The district’s most recent elementary school prototype was done in 2006. District leaders said this new prototype design will include spaces that cater to new interests such as video game design.

Students also expressed interest in an environmentally conscious campus that uses solar panels and prioritizes natural energy.

The district currently has a bond exploration committee examining the district’s enrolment growth, and needs to accommodate that growth.

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