iPads replace paper at futuristic Keller school

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on August 18, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 19 at 1:20 PM

KELLER - Despite record snow and rain, a Keller school is ready for class.

In March, parents were concerned the Timber View Middle School wouldn't be ready because wild winter weather put construction behind schedule.

With school just four days away - we went back for the update and found the school even had time for extras.

Those extras are what set this school apart.

But all that new technology also made this a first-of-a-kind design.

That was a challenge - even before the weather caused its own issues.

There are still trees to plant and seams to fill.

But contractors are convinced they'll be ready for the opening bell.

Timber View Middle School is a long way from where it was five months ago - when rain and record snow surrounded the building in a backlog of mud.

"They've worked weekends and late hours. These guys have just committed to this project," said construction supervisor, Hudson Huff.

The district's construction supervisor says the $31 million Keller School will open Monday - on schedule, complete with the hi-tech tools promised.

There are iPads instead of spiral notebooks.

"Well, we get to use a lot of technology, and we're going to try to use less paper," said student Caitlin Haslett.

That technology was a challenge for contractors.

The district designed for the future - with solar panels outside - and new science labs inside.

The classrooms are wireless, with walls that open up and turn the teaching over to the students.

"What happens is you become not just a consumer of learning, but you become a contributor to it. And that's the kind of magic we're trying to create on this campus," said Carrie Jackson, principal.

The district says contractors will be landscaping and working outside when students return to class.

But nothing will stop them from learning - or wondering how this building came together - just in time for the first day of school.

Furniture is on the way and computers still have to be installed.

The district says that's work that will happen while students learn the layout of the building.

First day of school is Monday.

E-mail: cnorton@wfaa.com

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