The Rockwall Independent School District will increase its campus numbers with the addition of two new elementary schools to open in August of 2007.

The two schools will be built simultaneously and will be the 11th and 12th elementary campuses in the district.

The plans for the schools were completed last Wednesday. Subcontractors vying for work on the projects are currently picking up specs from the district. The deadline for submitting bids is May 16, with the district planning to award those bids June 7, said RISD Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Jack Rambo, Ph.D.

We’re introducing a brand new compact plan,” Rambo said. “We will be using a lot of outside lighting. We’ll have monitors so that we can light the building using more natural light.

“We’re going to have what we call ‘inspired classrooms,’ with electricity and computer access coming up from the floor. This makes the classrooms easy to configure in different arrangements. They will also be totally wire-less, with a projector and screen in each classroom,” Rambo said.

Construction will begin June 12 and the work is expected to be completed in May of 2007 in time for the schools to open the following August.

One school will be located on the southwest corner of Farm to Market Roads 1141 and 552, in the area north of Rockwall.

The other school will be located on Farm to Market 549 just south of Texas 205, due east of Rockwall.

The two schools are identical in design. Each structure will have 89,000 sq. ft., housing students from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade. Each can hold a capacity of 760 students.

The new schools will also feature special rooms for specific uses.

“We took a brand new fresh look at the needs along with the folks in Curriculum,” said Rambo. “There’s a big initiative in science right now, and both of these facilities will have science labs.

At the sixth grade level we also have band. Usually the band practices in the cafeteria or stage, if a school has one. These two will have a band hall.”

Rambo said the schools will be able to have assemblies in their cafetoriums.

In addition, these schools will have a consolidated Headstart and early childhood program.

The children in those programs will have a separate wing with its own entrance. They will also have their own dining room, which is accessible to the same kitchen used for the other grades. The dining rooms will double as a multi-purpose activity room.

The schools costs $15 million, which includes all related costs. The district will begin selling bonds for the project in May.