ECHS will move to new V Building

Gabriela X. Zuniga, Copy Editor

New construction at Dallas College Brookhaven Campus continues. W Building, previously Brookhaven’s workforce building, is being renovated, and additions are being made. V Building will be a new addition to Brookhaven Campus.

Construction began in February 2022 on the northeast side of Brookhaven for the use of Early College High School students. These buildings were named the Early College Center. ECC will house Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Early College High School students currently in the P and U buildings on campus as well as high school students from Dallas Independent School District.

Original plans set the center to be completed by April 2023 and ready to occupy by August 2023.

Timothy Isaly, Early College High School principal, said: “We heard in October and November  there was a delay in the supply chain of raw materials that were being shipped to start the building or to work on the building. And then we were told that [ECC] would probably be delayed until January of 2024.”

These delayed plans have affected ECHS enrollment. “I have had to back off from telling people we will be in there in August,” Isaly said. “And I had to limit the number of freshmen we were gonna take because I cannot put too many freshmen in a tiny P Building.”

The Early College Center will have a capacity of at least 400 students with 26 classrooms including labs and office space, Isaly said.

Glenn Partners, the architects and management team of the new ECC building, said on their website: “The ECC [is designed] to act as a pathway to college by integrating and strengthening existing pedestrian pathways with the new ECC building. The ECC also serves as a haven for students visiting campus from multiple home districts.”

P Building, where ECHS students are currently located, will be demolished once students have moved into the ECC. 

A new entrance from Alpha Road on the northeast side of the campus is expected to be ready when the ECC building is completed. With the construction of the ECC, tennis courts on campus were demolished. Isaly said, after briefly reviewing the construction blueprints, he found no plans to replace the tennis courts on campus.

The Early College Center is a huge milestone and an excellent opportunity to offer more high school students the chance to graduate with college credits and possibly their associate’s degree. Current ECHS students have varying opinions on how the new mini-campus will affect the sense of community within the ECHS program. Dayanara Torres, a first-year ECHS student, said, “I think these [new] buildings are a good opportunity for creating bonds with Dallas ISD and being more connected as a community.”

Susana Perez, a current senior ECHS student who will not get to experience the new building as a student, said: “A con is that I feel like as the school is expanding, there are going to be more students, and I like how the school is right now. It is more of a close bond with everyone in other grade [levels] compared to other high schools. I feel like we are friends with people from different grades, and it is because it is such a small school.”

However, students are excited for new additions that are not present in P and U buildings. Perez said, “The pro, I would say, is that we are finally going to have a cafeteria.”

Torres said, “I believe that the new buildings could provide upgrades in safety and efficiency within our school that our current [P and U] buildings may not offer.”

The Early College Center has been nearly a decade in the making. Perez said, “They have been trying to do this for 10 years, and it has been much work for Isaly to get the green lights.”

Isaly said: “We will try and have some kind of special grand opening event whenever we get in there [and] invite all the alums and anybody who ever was an Early College High School student. They need to see the building.”