- Forney ISD
Forney ISD’s Opportunity Central reaches milestone in construction
Gray skies provided the picture perfect setting for a Topping Out celebration on Thursday, Dec. 8 at the site of the new Keith Bell Opportunity Central, or The OC. The construction team and contractors with Gallagher, along with the architecture team at Huckabee, Forney ISD officials and others gathered to celebrate as one of the final beams of steel, painted bright green and adorned with signatures and messages from those in attendance, was hoisted with a crane and secured in place at the highest point of the building's frame.
FISD Superintendent Dr. Justin Terry addressed the audience of workers in hardhats and safety vests, “There are so many of you who are working day and night to make this vision a reality. Managing tight deadlines, crunching numbers, organizing skilled labor, adjusting schedules - the work you do is remarkable.”
The OC is designed with three main components focused on student success - career, college and community. The facility will include innovative career programs, access to college programs, and provide select businesses the opportunity to operate, work with students and integrate with the community to develop relevant future-ready skills.
“You are all a part of something really special. This concept is one-of-a-kind and designed to change the way we think about education,” stated Terry. “I am so grateful to be a part of this community dedicated to student success.”
The OC is set to open in August of 2023. The 350,000 sq ft, three-story facility will open to students first. High school students in 10th-12th grade from both Forney High School and North Forney High School will take courses throughout the day at The OC. In addition, a Pre-Kindergarten center is being built to accommodate 500 three and four year olds while helping to develop future teachers.
Several other key features of the facility include a 600-seat theater, a prep kitchen, an indoor playground, and an arena for sporting events, tournaments and concerts. The facility, large enough to accommodate FHS and NFHS graduations, will have space available for special events, trade shows, tournaments, and meetings.
Unlike a traditional school, this facility will have extended open hours to include nights and weekends. Several businesses including eateries and a coffee shop will open to the community and operate from the first floor of the facility. Similar to a mall concept, the bottom floor will welcome the community to patronize the local shops, eateries and student-run businesses. The second and third floors will have secured student access to classrooms. Texas Tech at Forney and Dallas College at Forney will offer programs spanning from associates degrees through senior adult continuing education.
For more information on The OC, please visit www.theoc.net, or call the FISD Partnerships Office at 469-762-4104.