Old Dallas High School Getting New Life

The 107-year-old building, once destined for the wrecking ball, aims to acquire three separate third-party sustainability ratings.

Dallas High School

Once destined for the wrecking ball, the old Dallas High School has become a hotspot for architects and coworking.

Developer Matthews Southwest is renovating the 107-year-old building on Pearl and Bryan streets into a LEED certified building. The company is targeting LEED Platinum certification, which focuses on the materials used and energy efficiency.

The health and wellness of the tenants will also be important as it targets a WELL certification and Fitwel, which less than 20 buildings nationwide have achieved, D Magazine reported. It will aim for WELL Gold certification, which focuses on food presented to employees. The Fitwell certification looks at the area’s walkability, as well as availability to onsite exercise and relaxation spaces.  

“It’s one thing for people to say, ‘Our office is green;’ it’s another for an office to say, ‘Our office is green and someone else has actually checked it and proved that it is,’” said Garrett Ferguson, sustainable building advisor at Perkins + Will.

So far Perkins + Will has leased 39,579 square feet taking up the entire third floor and parts of the second floor. Another 19,000 square feet was leased to the Foundry Club, a coworking space, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Another 10,000-square-feet will be leased to restaurants and retail.

Dallas High School has been empty for more than 20 years and was going to be torn down, at one point. But historians saw potential in the building so it was saved. Jack Matthews, the developer, said there’s still space available on the top floor.

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