Ushering in an era of new opportunity

D.W. Carter High School Addition & Renovation
Dallas Independent School District
Dallas, TX

As part of Phase I of a 2015 Bond Issue, KAI was hired in conjunction with PBK Architects to design $56 million in additions and extensive renovations to D.W. Carter High School for the Dallas Independent School District.

Designers created an invigorated public presence for the building along the main thoroughfare, West Wheatland, with a new front entry addition, administrative addition and new landscaping along the southern facade.

A major component of the Phase 1 construction is a 1,000-seat competition gymnasium which includes a below-grade tornado shelter sufficient to house the entire school population. The campus’ existing gym was transformed into an auxiliary gym space with athletic support and storage, and existing locker rooms were renovated. School spirit and pride are showcased throughout the gymnasium addition. The Carter Cowboys’ signature colors of red and blue are showcased throughout the new space – in the performance gymnasium, halls and locker rooms. Trophy cases line the gym entrance, celebrating the rich history of athletic success at Carter High. Jerseys in the locker room highlight previous all-star athletes who attended the school.

Other upgrades for Carter High School included a fine arts addition, full renovation of science labs and art spaces, auditorium renovation, career and technical education classrooms, and renovations with new landscaping for two interior courtyards.

The project also included a total facility roof upgrade, new windows throughout the school, building envelope upgrades, plumbing upgrades, and a reroute of the bus loop. Phased to minimize disruption on campus, the extensive upgrades have created a beautiful 21st-Century learning environment for the community.


Architecture, Interior Design, Building Information Modeling, Construction Administration, Schematic Design

"The upgrades to the building will make it the perfect backdrop to support mastering the skills needed for the next century."

Joyce Foreman
District 6 Dallas ISD Board of Trustees

"Equity demanded this transformation."

Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent
Dallas ISD

The Impact

Addressing a community's needs

In the planning and programming for this project, designers held several community forums to allow the voices of the Carter school community to be heard. The team worked through several design iterations that addressed the community's concerns, resulting in an equitable solution for all.