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FWISD Dedicates New I.M. Terrell Academy For STEM and VPA

What: Dedication of the new I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA

When: Friday, December 7, 2018

Where: 1900 I.M. Terrell Circle, Fort Worth

Summary: Last December, Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner delivered a holiday message to the community about big goals, dreams, and things not yet seen. Don’t remember it? Click here for a quick look back at a promise.terrell

On Friday, December 7, starting at 9:30 a.m., that unrealized dream comes alive as the Fort Worth ISD formally dedicates the new I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA. And, that same young lady returns to the stage to bathe the new 900-seat performance hall in the glow of a Steinway Grand piano.

The VPA/STEM concept was approved by District voters during the 2013 Capital Improvement Program campaign and combines the historical I.M. Terrell School located on the city’s east side with the new Visual and Performing Arts Academy (VPA) and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Academy (STEM).

The new campus design incorporates both the existing buildings and new elements to create a secure, enclosed campus with one clear entrance, centered on a new student courtyard. This outdoor space is as important as the interior spaces, and creates a “sense of place” that blends together the historic existing campus and the dramatic new elements.  

The main entry for the campus, marked by the dramatic element of the overarching “gateway” canopy that reaches out to and shelters the existing building, is visible from the highway. This provides a signature element – both framing the views of downtown beyond and welcoming visitors to the site. 

The new building consists of approximately 65,000 square feet, currently on two levels. The main auditorium and stage take up the center of the building with approximately 300 seats in the balcony and 600 on the floor. The main stage is a full fly loft proscenium stage, with full rigging capacity.  This is supported by all the surrounding ground floor spaces such as scene shop, green room, dressing rooms, etc.  A large dock door also allows for truck loading and unloading directly on stage thru the shop. 

The existing I.M. Terrell building was renovated extensively in 2007 and is in great shape, both inside and out. The current south entrance will enter directly into a “museum” area for the school and alumni to both display memorabilia and also to meet on campus.  

The VPA/STEM Academy is a 9-12th grade high school, with phased occupancy starting at grade 9 this school year. One grade level will be added per year. The total campus capacity is projected to be 800 students, initially made up of approximately 500 VPA students and 300 STEM students.


New Construction Facts:

Size (SF):  65,000 SF (two levels)

Seating capacity: 900 (600 on lower floor, 300 in balcony)

Features: full fly loft proscenium stage, with full rigging capacity, scene shop, green room, dressing rooms.  A large dock door also allows for truck loading and unloading directly on stage


Current Facility Facts

Size (SF): 132,000 SF

Previous renovation: 2007 Capital Improvement Program provided extensive renovation

Existing auditorium: kept “as is”


General Combined Facts

Projected student capacity: 800 (500 VPA, 300 STEM)

Grades:  9-12

Construction Start Date: April, 2016

Occupancy Date: August, 2018

Architect: Corgan Associates

Pre-Construction Services: Con-Real|Turner

Proposition 2:  $41,595,086


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