February 16, 2017
This architectural rendering of the new Matzke Elementary School replacement campus reveals the front entry of the school, which will open in August 2017.
By Kirby Niermeyer, Cy-Fair HS
Feb. 16, 2017—When space becomes limited for families, they move into a new home, which usually means a change in location. When schools move into a new building they usually stay on the same property. For Matzke Elementary School, this is not the case.
Due to the small site and the age of Matzke, CFISD is unable to perform adequate additions/renovations to its current building. With CFISD’s 2014 bond program in place, it becomes possible to relocate and build a new school.
Student overpopulation was also a concern as the campus currently has 990 students enrolled, causing free space to be restricted.
This aerial architectural rendering of the new Matzke Elementary School replacement campus reveals some of the 20-acre tract of land on Mills Road.
Roy Sprague, associate superintendent of facilities, construction and support services, is embarking on his 20th year of managing the transportation, architecture, buildings, maintenance and facilities of CFISD.
“The thing I enjoy most is a new building and seeing the students’ reactions, knowing they’re thinking, ‘Wow, they built this for me!’” Sprague said.
Back in 2015, Sprague and the district established the plans and preparations for opening five schools within a two-year span, which included constructing and modernizing Matzke.
By August 2017, a relocated Matzke will be in place on Mills Road near Cypress Creek High School. The current building will be used for alternative purposes.
“We want the students to feel like they’re just moving into a new building, not a new Matzke,” Sprague said.
Various noteworthy traditions of the school will continue at the new campus. In the current building there is a mural of a tree plastered on the wall, known as the thumbprint tree. The leaves of the tree are made from the impressions of thumbprints of every student and employee since 1984.
“Our plan is to find a wall to start a new thumbprint tree on,” Matzke Principal Cathy Jacobs said. “We will take as many traditions as possible and continue the excellence at our new campus.”
In the 20 years of Sprague being with the district, Matzke is the first school relocation that has been implemented in CFISD.
The new Matzke has the potential to hold a maximum capacity of 1,092 students on its 20-acre tract of land that CFISD obtained 10 years ago.
Attendance boundaries are being expanded to increase the student attendance at the new campus. The new campus has a design like no other school in the district. The abundant outdoor space will be utilized as outdoor learning communities. Various classrooms will operate as spaces for project based learning for small or large groups of students, while the library will serve as the main feature of the school.
With Cypress Creek High school neighboring the new campus, high school students participating in school organizations such as PALS and Ready, Set, Teach! will be able to conveniently interact with Matzke students.
“Last year, we started the tradition of having seniors from Cypress Creek walk the halls at Matzke in May as we clapped for them. It was a big hit and we hope to have more participants next year since we will be so close,” Jacobs said.