The Dallas Business Journal’s 29th annual Best Real Estate Deals of 2020 recently named Arlington ISD’s Arts and Athletics Complex the winner for the Community/Neighborhood Impact category.
“The Arlington ISD is honored and very grateful to have our new Arts and Athletics Complex recognized by the Dallas Business Journal,” said Kelly Horn, Arlington ISD assistant superintendent of facility services. “These new facilities provide our students and the community of Arlington with amazing venues to celebrate the achievements of our students in the arts and in athletics. They represent a tremendous spirit of cooperation and planning between the Arlington ISD and the City of Arlington.
“These facilities are a large part of the incredible changes taking place in Arlington and they will continue to have an impact on the redevelopment and growth taking place in north central Arlington between downtown and the Entertainment District. The AISD is very appreciative to the citizens of Arlington. They understand the needs of our students and continue to provide the district with the financial support necessary to help our students succeed at the very highest levels.”
The Arts and Athletics Complex, a centerpiece of the 2014 Bond program, is located next to AT&T Stadium and has two, state-of-the-art facilities designed to serve students of all ages.
The Center for Visual and Performing Arts (see photos) offers world-class performance and demonstration venues, including a 1,250-seat concert hall, 425-seat theater, classroom space, art and dance studios, instrument repair center, piano lab and art gallery. Next door, the Athletics Center (see photos) is home to the district’s first-ever natatorium, which includes a 50-meter pool with moveable bulkheads, a diving area, warm-up pool and seating for 1,000 spectators. The Athletics Center also houses a 1,200-seat arena for competition wrestling, basketball and volleyball.
The Dallas Business Journal’s BRED award is particularly rewarding because it recognizes the foundational reason the AAC was built – to impact students, give them world-class opportunities and educational experiences and set them up for a rewarding future.
“Each of these facilities fulfill the vision we shared with the district to create a bridge to student futures,” said HKS director of education, Leonardo Gonzalez Sangri. “Arlington coaches expressed their desire to offer student-athletes venues that enhance and inspire their performance. Commanding views to both Globe Life Field and AT&T Stadium are a reminder of opportunities available to them. And the CVPA is simply stunning. We can’t wait to learn the individual stories of students who will stand above their peers as they compete for scholarships into nationally renowned programs through the experiences afforded in these performing and visual arts spaces. These world-class venues are options you would typically find on a college campus, delivered for the benefit of the Arlington ISD students and community.”
It took a tremendous team effort to turn the vision for the AAC into a reality. The design and construction of the facilities was a meticulous, years-long process that included fine arts and athletics administrators, teachers, community members and, finally, the architect, HKS, and the general contractor, Adolfson & Peterson.
“AISD’s Arts and Athletic Complex aligns with AISD’s goal to provide students a well-rounded curriculum so they graduate exceptionally prepared for college, career and citizenship,” said Terry Loreth, Adolfson and Peterson vice president. “At AP, we strive to make positive impacts in the communities we serve, and this project perfectly illustrates how we reach that goal.”
The AAC opened around the middle of last school year but is now in full use this academic year. And it’s already making an impact. At the Athletics Center, the facility is frequently busy with volleyball and basketball games, swim practices and meets, plus now a district water safety program for all third-graders. And at the CVPA, art students have new opportunities and world-class spaces in which to create, practice and perform.
“The school at the CVPA provides learning opportunities that are not available anywhere else,” said Cathy Isaacks, associate principal at the CVPA. “Unlike other arts schools, we do not require auditions; our courses are open to all Arlington ISD high school students. This allows more students the chance to experience our unique programs and receive a truly special classroom experience.”