Pleasant Grove Independent School District broke ground Monday on the new Margaret Fischer Davis elementary school, to be built at Galleria Oaks and Christus Drive.
The $14.4 million project is expected to be complete by July 3, 2020, and is funded through a $19.9 million bond voters approved in 2018 for the school and updated security and technology district-wide.
Superintendent Chad Pirtle said the new building would allow them a better opportunity to build the science, technology, engineering, arts and math initiatives at a younger age.
"The new elementary school will provide opportunities for students to receive a world-class STEAM-based education unparalleled in our country," he said. "Margaret Fischer Davis Elementary School will provide opportunities for our staff to give an innovative, world-class STEAM education and it will allow the community to have another Pleasant Grove Independent School District beacon of pride."
Former Board President Jeff Harris said it was fitting to name the school after Davis, who he said set an ultimate standard for future generations.
"What could be more special, other than breaking ground on a new elementary school, but to break ground on the Margaret Fischer Davis Pleasant Grove Elementary School?" He said. "This has been a dream for many of us. We owe her so much. What better way to show our gratitude to her, our appreciation to her for years and years of compassion, of hard work, for her dedication, for setting the standard for so many generations to come."
Davis served as PGISD superintendent for 23 years and thanked the district for the honor of having the school named for her.
"Thank you school board for this amazing honor. It's very humbling," she said. "In looking out at all these boys and girls today and seeing how excited they are, I have to tell you that I also feel very grateful. I'm honored, I'm humbled, I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to be a part of the future of Pleasant Grove."
Davis went on to say that she loved all the years she served the boys and girls in the district and that she has great satisfaction in their accomplishments of not only the students, but also the district and its staff.
"As you know and I know, success is never the result of one person's efforts. It takes a committed team of individuals to set the stage for success," she said. "That's what we've always had in Pleasant Grove. Years ago, visionary board members and former superintendents paved the way. I have been privileged to serve during all my years with outstanding board members, wonderful, dedicated staff members and we have all been committed to the success of our district and to the success of our boys and girls."
Davis added that a new elementary school had been a dream for a long time and that, upon completion, will work to change the lives of those who attend classes there.
"In fact, I know it was in our district long-range plan for at least 10 years," she said. "We know that this new elementary school is going to take us into the future and serve our boys our girls. Those of us who are educators know that an elementary school education is the foundation for all future learning."
The district acquired the 12.054 acres for the new school through a land swap with CHRISTUS Ark-La-Tex Health for 4.35 acres at the current elementary site. The general contractor for the project is Nabholz Construction and Stan Excavating Co. immediately began dirt work at the site Monday following the groundbreaking ceremony.