The Melissa Independent School District executive leadership team, Board of Trustees and development partners recently presented “Vision 2020” to update the community on the building projects in progress and upcoming for the district, with a focus on strategic planning.
Vision 2020 representatives were Superintendent Keith Murphy, board President George James, Executive Director of Operations Kenny Deel, parent and community member Ryan Ross, and architectural firms Perkins&Will and Parkhill, Smith & Cooper. The presentation covered student growth, development plans, school finance, program needs and more, with the recurring message that the district is planning to support all students and build for the future.
“When we build these facilities, we’re not building them for the next three or four years, we’re not building them for today; we’re building them for who we’re going to be,” Murphy said. “It’s not either academics or extracurricular programs: our commitment is to all kids and we will do whatever it takes to support all programs.”
Twenty years ago, Melissa ISD was small enough that it did not have its own high school campus. Today, the district serves 3,700 students from pre-kindergarten up to 12th grade. Parents and community members have volunteered their time to participate in needs assessment committees, collaborating with school staff and administrators to develop master plans, and passing two bond referendums to support Melissa Schools.
In 2018, the district opened two new facilities — Melissa High School and North Creek Elementary — and nearly every staff member moved to a new location. As new facilities are built in Melissa ISD, existing facilities are repurposed; all to accommodate the fast-growing student population.
As 2020 approaches, a plethora of development projects are on the horizon, with the next phase of Melissa High School, plans for more elementary schools and state-of-the-art facilities being constructed to support academic and extracurricular programs.
MHS Phase II
Phase II of Melissa High School broke ground in October and will include the Arts Center, cafeteria expansion and a second gymnasium.
Adding on to the fine arts building, the Arts Center was purposefully designed to serve as a regional hub for all art programs, while freeing up classroom space in the academic tower. The facility will include a 1,000-seat auditorium, rehearsal rooms for choir, theater and band, as well as additional art classrooms. All of this is in addition to the existing band hall, art classrooms and black box theater.
Future elementary schools
Melissa ISD will break ground on a third elementary school in the fall of 2020, located in the Willow Wood subdivision and expected to open ahead of the 2021-2022 school year. Ultimately, the Melissa Ridge Education Center will become an early childhood education center, with each elementary school following the K-5 grade configuration. During construction, the community could see portable buildings added to the existing elementary campuses, as is expected in fast-growth school districts.
Sixth grade center
The old middle school building on Cardinal Drive is being repurposed as a sixth grade center, expected to open in the fall of 2020. The sixth grade center will function as an extension of the existing Melissa Middle School facility.
Now coined the Championship Center, the district is building a new multipurpose indoor facility at the Melissa High School site, designed to serve a variety of programs. Amenities will include, but are not limited to, a 100-yard practice field, two dual credit auditoriums, two wrestling mat areas, a weight room, locker rooms and a VIP room.
On the northeast corner of the Championship Center, the Texas Health Sports Medicine Clinic will house the Melissa High School sports medicine program and a community clinic operated by Texas Health Resources.
Every sport in the athletic program is expected to use the Championship Center; and the facility will even be large enough to accommodate band and soccer practices. Further, the addition of the facility will reduce extracurricular travel time for many high school students, with program space available on site.
A timeline of the district’s development milestones from 2015 to present day, along with a list of current and future projects, is available online at www.melissaisd.org/growth.