Jan. 19, 2018 by Leo Smith, 2017 Young Guns Education Chair, Commerce Bank

Young Guns Education Committee Unveils Lipscomb Elementary School Library Renovation

Lipscomb Elementary School

The Young Guns Education Committee unveiled the newly-renovated library of Lipscomb Elementary School to teachers, students and community members during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 16. Public education is an important part of TREC’s mission, and Education Committee leads our involvement with Dallas ISD as we work to strengthen the Dallas metroplex through advancing the vital role that education plays in building and maintaining a thriving business community.

Established in 1921, Lipscomb Elementary School serves 512 students – of which 90 percent come from low socioeconomic backgrounds – from the Junius Heights, Munger Place and Swiss Avenue neighborhoods in the heart of Old East Dallas. Lipscomb is an International Baccalaureate (IB) Candidate School implementing the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and has become a Two Way Dual Language campus, giving students the opportunity to learn in both English and Spanish.Lipscomb Librarian Carrie Esch said the library’s new design has enabled students to find books quicker, and the more prominent computer area has excited them about learning the research process. She added that with the new data projector, green screen, and LEGO wall, the library will become an extension of the classroom and the school’s curriculum.

“This library renovation is critical to Lipscomb as we seek to improve the quality of instruction, raise student achievement, and create a positive climate and a hub for innovation in their community,” former Lipscomb Principal Roxanne Cheek said.

The library not only serves the students of Lipscomb but also as a hub for the East Dallas community, where parents and community members regularly meet in the evenings. Before any design thoughts were given to the project, TREC hosted an open forum at the library to give students, teachers, and community members a chance to voice their opinions of what they wished to see in the new design.

“The students and teachers at Lipscomb Elementary were excellent clients. They told us exactly what they wanted,” Mylea McDonald, Young Guns volunteer, of Gensler, said. “As a designer, I believe our field can make an impact on people’s lives and this was an opportunity to put that into action. The library has been such a rewarding project for me as I was able get to work one-on-one with the children, teachers and other creative professionals to make a space that is uniquely theirs.”

Compared to previous Education Committee projects, the Lipscomb library renovation was a huge undertaking and would not have been possible without the partnership and support of TREC and its members, our vendors, the East Dallas Exchange Club, Munger Place Church and the Old East Dallas Early Childhood PTA.

“Working on the education committee with Lipscomb has been a fantastic experience,” Michaela Gunter, Young Guns volunteer, of Beck Architecture, said. “We’ve gotten the opportunity to learn more about the unique challenges facing their school and community, and I hope that the library makes it easier for dual language students to strengthen their verbal skills, and that it becomes a focal point for this east Dallas neighborhood.”

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