Fort Worth ISD revises plans to open STEM, arts academy

I.M. Terrell rendering

The Fort Worth ISD will open the new I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and Visual and Performing Arts in the fall of 2018 in order to give neighborhood families more time for the transition.

Originally, school officials expected to open the revitalized campus in 2017. According to a news release from the school district, the new timeline will allow students at I.M. Terrell Elementary to remain at their present location throughout the 2016-2017 school year. An earlier plan called for the younger children to relocate to the new Van Zandt Guinn Elementary School next month to make way for the remodeling of the historic Terrell campus.

Superintendent Kent P. Scribner reached the decision after parents, many of whom are residents of the nearby Butler Housing community, asked for more time.

“Implementing a new timeline helps ease the burden for those families who will not only experience the change to a new school, but also the upheaval of a community in transition,” said Scribner. “It also gives our new leadership team a full year to recruit first-rate administrators and faculty to staff this premier school. That extra time will help ensure the Terrell Academy is the premier educational facility of its kind in North Texas when it opens in August, 2018.

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Voters approved the VPA/STEM concept during the 2013 Capital Improvement Program campaign. The District broke ground for a new performance hall at the Academy site in December 2015. Construction on that building is expected to be completed in January 2018.