Vanir’s Central States Team Wins a 2023 CMAA North Texas Chapter Project Achievement Award

We’re thrilled to announce that Vanir has won a CMAA North Texas Chapter Project Achievement Award for its work on Dallas Independent School District’s new Thomas Jefferson High School (TJHS) and Walnut Hill International Leadership Academy (WHILA).

Vanir, as part of a joint venture with Dikita (Dikita\\Vanir JV), is providing program management services for Dallas Independent School District’s 2015 Bond Program. The $1.6 billion districtwide program is addressing renovations, additions and new facility needs for educational, administrative and athletic facilities. The assigned scope of work at each campus, including TJHS and WHILA, covers the pre-design, design, procurement, construction, closeout and warranty phases.

In October 2019, the District suffered the total loss of three schools (TJHS, Cary Middle School and Walnut Hill Elementary School) when an EF-3 tornado hit the northern part of the City of Dallas. Two schools were catastrophic losses, and the other deemed a partial loss. The tornado caused an estimated $1.5 billion in damages to nearby homes, schools and businesses. The Dikita\\Vanir JV was retained to provide program management services for the addition/renovation of the damaged high school (TJHS) and a complete rebuild of a new PK-8 school (WHILA). WHILA serves as a replacement school for the Walnut Hill Elementary and Cary Middle Schools, which were consolidated into one facility.

Each campus includes a storm shelter to provide safety to all assigned campus students and staff during inclement weather emergencies. Both schools also feature educational spaces, athletic facilities and more.

TJHS highlights include:

  • 333,000 square feet (design capacity for up to 2,200 students)
  • A new career and technical education wing
  • A state-of-the-art culinary arts classroom and teaching/professional kitchens
  • A competition gym that also serves as a storm shelter
  • A new performing arts center, which includes two dance studios, a black box classroom and rooms for traditional and modern band
  • A new artificial turf football field
  • Indoor athletic facilities, including a weight room and wrestling mat room
  • Locker rooms for all on-site sports
  • A library, funded with the help of the Barbara Bush Foundation
  • New baseball/softball fields and tennis courts

WHILA highlights include:

  • 125,000 square feet (room for 800 students)
  • A library, funded with the help of the Barbara Bush Foundation
  • A P.E. gym that also serves as a storm shelter
  • A community playground (part of the “Cool Schools” program in collaboration with the City of Dallas)
  • A “cafetorium” where the stage can connect the auditorium and gym if the divider is removed
  • A dual language program where students alternate learning in English and Spanish

Congratulations and thank you to Dallas Independent School District, our Dikita\\Vanir team members and everyone else involved with these two incredible facilities!

Project team: The Beck Group, Corgan, HED