Contractors have begun construction! Phase I includes restoration of the original neoclassical architecture, updates to interior spaces to better allow for personalized education and technology, construction of a forest-themed library, improvements to points of entry, and the addition of sports fields, playgrounds, interior courtyard and other landscaped outdoor spaces. Project completion and move-in is expected in Fall 2022.
The Kessler School’s new campus has been recognized by Dallas Business Journal as one of the top projects of 2020 in North Texas. The new campus is a finalist for best rehab/reuse, alongside the esteemed Hall of State at Fair Park, Deep Ellum’s Continental Gin Building and Microsoft’s Las Colinas campus, in the publication’s annual “Best Real Estate Deals” awards.
“We’ve always known what we’re doing is important for our school and the greater Oak Cliff community. Being recognized multiple times by North Texas’ top publications for our efforts and the positive impact that we’re creating makes it that much more special,” said Head of School Vanessa Ullmann.
The new campus was also recognized in the April 2021 issue of D CEO magazine, the business publication of D Magazine, as one of the top commercial real estate projects in the region in the “Community Impact” category.
Now in its 29th year, Dallas Business Journal’s signature awards program has honored more than 500 extraordinary projects that have shaped the landscape of our growing North Texas region into what we know today, said the publication in its announcement.
Building plans are currently making their way through permitting channels, and we’re in talks with multiple contractors about the various elements of the rejuvenation of our beautiful new campus. Our goal is to move to the new campus throughout the duration of the 2021-2022 school year, most likely in a phased approach.
In the coming days, we will be sharing exterior renderings of our new campus with the Oak Cliff community, as well as folks in Dallas’ preservation community, but we wanted to make sure our school families are the first to see them.
Thank you for your support and excitement about this exciting new chapter for our school and our students. Please stay tuned for more updates to come!
Best wishes -
President, Board of Trustees
Head of School
The colonnade across the front of the building will return to its neo-classical design by removing the brise soleil that was added in the 1960s to “modernize” the campus. Additionally, a flag pole will be added and the landscaping will be minimized to allow for more open space for outdoor teaching and play.
Families and visitors arriving from the northeast corner will be greeted by a bell tower and sports field. In addition to marking time, the bell tower will eventually be integrated into a new tradition for graduates who ring the bell to celebrate their time as TKS Owls.
A basketball court adjacent to the sports field will provide additional outdoor physical fitness opportunities. Trees with benches surrounding their bases (right) will be added for shaded outdoor teaching, reading and watching the activity on the field.
A portico will extend across the rear driveway for carpool, as well as to connect to the playground.
At the heart of the campus, a central courtyard with a “classroom in the round” provides a place for families and students to gather for conversations and meet-ups. An elevated walkway connects the second floors of both buildings.