Abilene ISD gives sneak peeks of newest campuses: The Lift and Dyess Elementary


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene ISD now has a high-tech hub as its base for career and technical students at the new home for ATEMS called The Lift. Across town, the newly-built Dyess Elementary school stands tall in the shadow of its predecessor.

“There’s nothing like the first day of school,” said Dr. David Young, Abilene ISD Superintendent, during a tour for media at The Lift Wednesday.

The 125,000 square foot campus is sleek, modern, and would be imposing if not so attractive. Tall ceilings with windows all the way up bolster the facility’s name, pouring sunlight into the cavernous cafeteria area.

Lift Principal Jay Ashby lead the media tour, guiding reporters through several career specialties offered at the school. A full auto-body shop, television studio, and working kitchen are some of the most impressive rooms.

Superintendent Dr. Young says neighboring districts have reached out to him about hosting a regional program at the shining facility; however, he says there’s “no room at the inn.”

“The number of kids that we have enrolled in these technical and career educational programs is off the charts,” said Dr. Young.

The Lift is not the only new campus making it’s maiden voyage this school year. Across town the new Dyess Elementary is as impressive in its own right. The school also has a spacious cafeteria – nods to the nearby Air Force Base painted above the heads of empty seats where students will christen the lunchroom Thursday.

Down the hall from the main entrance of the school is the doorway to two-stories of classrooms, a wide stair case dividing the room. On one side of the staircase are child-sized book cases. On the other are games, and space-age looking pod style chairs forming circles in the school’s reading area. The flickering lights of an LED-word board (think LiteBrite) cast dancing colors on the curved backs of the pods.

Principal Chad Drake says he’s excited to pilot this new campus for which a military heritage runs deep.

“From the very beginning our architects helped us think of creative ways to honor the folks in the Air Force, the military and the kids that we serve,” said Drake.

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