Coppell ISD said it believes Canyon Ranch Elementary is a special place, and the best is yet to come for the district’s newest elementary school. District officials, community leaders and members gathered at the school Wednesday morning to celebrate its official grand opening.
“This hard work doesn’t happen overnight,” said Superintendent Brad Hunt. “It’s a lot of vision, planning and preparation, and to be able to see this come to life is just a true gift.”
Canyon Ranch is the district’s 11th elementary school and was approved by voters during the 2016 bond election. Officials said it had been experiencing tremendous growth in the district, specifically in the southern area and hoped the new school would help alleviate that growth.
Officials welcomed about 700 students to the school in August. The facility is around 110,000 square feet and provides a spacious environment for learning. It boasts features like an interior court yard, a learning balcony, flexible furniture options and the use of natural light.
“Without your (the community) support … this would not be possible,” said Trustee David Caviness. “You guys saw the need to address our growth. “(We have) a little over 13,000 students district-wide, and it was important for us to handle that grow and to also have a neighborhood school for our students and families right here in Irving.”
Kylie Godinez, Canyon Ranch second-grade teacher, said she jumped at the opportunity to teach at the school.
“I knew this place would be special. I got to be a part of the visioning committee … for Canyon Ranch even before our school had its name,” she said. “We dreamt up the place we felt would be the perfect fit for these learners who we didn’t even know. Little did I know this place would be so much better than that which we envisioned. This building offers a flexible learning environment in which any child would be lucky to learn.”
Ashley Minton, Canyon Ranch principal, said the school chose "home" as its theme for this year. Organized into a house style system, Canyon Ranch has six houses with three for kindergarten through second grade and three for third through fifth grades.
“The structure promotes community, relationship building and the opportunity for students to work together with students in other grade levels,” Minton said.
Minton said the school aimed to make everyone feel welcomed and at home as it opened its doors for the very first time.