New Middle School Celebrated at Dedication Ceremony
VLK Architects gathered with the community, administrators, and staff for the dedication ceremony of Vista Ridge Middle School in Keller ISD.
“My biggest vision for education is innovation,” says Chelsea Allison, Vista Ridge principal. “It’s the idea that students need to be able to look at challenges and say ‘how do I innovatively come up with a solution to this problem that will have long term meaningful effects?’ I want learning to be extensions of what they need to know in the future. We need to be thinking about what skills they are going to need 25 to 40 years from now, and the best thing about our school is that it is designed to meet the needs of our students not only today, but in the future.”
Located off I-35 and Thompson Road, Vista Ridge Middle School’s initial capacity is 900 students and master planned for future expansions to accommodate 1200 in upcoming years. The new middle school was constructed on the high area of a sloping 28 acre site, providing magnificent views of downtown Fort Worth and ample green space for athletic fields. In addition, with the construction of new neighborhood communities around Vista Ridge, students will be very close to local parks and trails providing teachers with opportunities to take their students beyond the walls of the classroom and outside to explore.
“With the opening of our new Vista Ridge Middle School campus, our students will be provided a great number of new opportunities and learning experiences,” says Hudson Huff, Keller ISD’s executive director of Facility Services. “From fine arts programs such as orchestra, to new presentation areas throughout the building, so many details were carefully considered as part of the planning and design process. We look forward to seeing the impact of the planning and design efforts that have been made to our newest campus and hope that the learning experiences provided for students at Vista Ridge can be shared and replicated in other district campuses and learning environments in the future.”
In addition to providing innovative learning environments, Vista Ridge also exists to help students meet their potential and become fully equipped to impact the world in a positive way. “At Vista Ridge we have a creed, and it really is more like our moral compass,” says Allison. “It is about being courteous and adding value to our environment and our community. It is about being respectful and being a leader in your own learning and in your own lives. It’s about developing yourself and focusing on who you are and who you are going to be. Being a Vista Ridge Lion is about being all these things, so you can fully realize your potential, and I see that here. I see it in the kids that come in, step up, and exhibit those leadership skills. I see it in little and big things every day. Being a Vista Ridge Lion means being the very best person you can possibly be.”
“VLK is honored to partner with Keller ISD in the design of this non-traditional fifth-eighth grade campus,” says Leesa Vardeman, VLK Partner. “Each design decision was predicated by what is in the best interest of kids and how the space will support all learning styles. Keller ISD has been intentional in providing transformative spaces that can easily adapt to the curriculum of the future.