Dallas Independent School District – Thomas Jefferson High School and Walnut Hill International Leadership Academy

Program overview

As part of the Dallas Independent School District’s $1.6 billion 2015 Bond Program to address renovations, additions and new facility needs, the joint venture (JV) of Dikita\\Vanir is providing program management services for Thomas Jefferson High School (TJHS) and Walnut Hill International Leadership Academy (WHILA).

In October 2019, the District suffered the loss of three schools (TJHS, Cary Middle School and Walnut Hill Elementary School) when an EF-3 tornado hit the northern part of Dallas, causing an estimated $1.5 billion in damages. The JV was retained to provide program management services for the addition/renovation of the damaged TJHS and a complete rebuild of a new, dual language PK-8 school (WHILA), which replaces and combines Walnut Hill Elementary and Cary Middle Schools, which were deemed total losses.

Each school features larger educational spaces, improved athletic facilities, a more modern library space (partially funded by the Barbara Bush Foundation) and a new storm shelter for all students and staff during inclement weather.

Both completed schools were delivered in January 2023 to meet the District’s aggressive schedule and allow the current senior class to graduate from its alma mater.

Delivering ongoing support

Due to recent security incidents at local Dallas-area high schools, the JV is continuing to assist the District’s emergency management and construction services departments with providing added exterior security.


The students and staff were in awe when they first saw the building. Every tour I give to prospective families is met with compliments, ‘it looks like a college;’ ‘the natural light is amazing;’ ‘I love the combo of the gym, stage and cafeteria.’ Our students now have a full-size library and gym where they can learn and grow. The middle school students now have a real lab to learn and spark curiosity. I cannot thank (Vanir) enough for their help and support.

– Dr. Philip Meaker, Walnut Hill International Leadership Academy Principal


CMAA North Texas – 2023 Project Achievement Award

Dallas, Texas
Dallas Independent School District



The Beck Group

Square Footage
TJHS: 333,000 SF
WHILA: 125,000 SF
Construction Cost
TJHS: $96 Million
WHILA: $45 Million
Start Date
Completion Date