W.S. Ryan Elementary School
Empowering Lifelong Learners
Denton High Replacement Campus Off Bronco Way Opens
Located in the heart of Denton, the highly anticipated, brand new replacement campus for Denton High School opened its doors at long last, signaling the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year for the fastest growing school district in North Texas.
The new facility, the school’s seventh location since its inception in 1884, is situated on approximately 150 acres of land on Bronco Way near the University of North Texas’ Discovery Park. It is less than 1.5 miles from the former location on Fulton Street, which opened in 1957.
The new Denton High is located near I-35 and Loop 288 on Bronco Way. The 490,000-square foot facility was designed by VLK Architects and built by Northstar Builders. The campus serves 2,200 students and is one of the key projects that voters approved in May 2018 as part of a capital improvement plan targeting the district’s older facilities.
It is equipped with Geothermal heating and cooling systems and with the latest Control System Technology for maximum energy savings. Also notable, the new campus building is built with more than one million bricks of locally sourced clay from Denton County, fired at our local ACME Brick plant. The brick blend was hand selected and is known as ACME's “Bronco Blend.”
“When we began our initial planning for Denton High, we spent a great deal of time discussing how to preserve and expand many of the traditions from the Fulton Street campus into this new facility,” said Joel Hays, principal. “Opening our doors for the 2022-2023 school year is the culmination of that vision. We’ve seen the joy and excitement in the faces of our students and their parents during campus tours and scheduled class events. It’s safe to say there are a lot of happy students and staff preparing to enter this building.”
Members of the Class of 2023 at Denton High were treated to a special event to begin the historic first week of school at the new campus on Bronco Way. The senior class presented their gift to the campus which has been a Denton High School tradition since the school opened in 1884.
“Denton High has a longstanding tradition of senior classes presenting a gift to the school. We have benches, banners and all sorts of amazing things that our students have donated through the years highlighting their legacy,” said Mr. Hays. “With this year’s class being the first to graduate from the campus on Bronco Way, the moment called for an exceptional gift.”
Senior class officers along with Mr. Hays unveiled a nine-foot-tall statue that depicts a bronco reared on its hind legs that mimics the school’s logo. It is located in the Commons Area of the campus, perfectly in line with the original mosaic logo that was removed from the campus on Fulton Street and now resides on a pedestal in the rotunda of the new campus.
The statue was previously part of the entrance at the Star Ranch facility in Aubrey that was purchased by the district in 2021 to become the Denton ISD Agriculture Farm. The statue was removed from the ranch’s entrance after the district purchased it and was then relocated to Benchmark Metal Services in Ponder for restoration services. After being restored, it was then transported to the Peterbilt Plant in Denton and “bronzed.”
The statue is named after veteran ROTC instructor, Colonel Robert West, who currently serves as the senior class sponsor. The Bronco statue in the Commons Area will be referred to as “The Colonel.”
“I was just blown away. I’m just not worthy. There are a lot of great teachers at Denton High School and I am humbled by the thought of having this statue named after me,” said Colonel West. “As an educator, you do the best you can to impart character and wisdom to your students daily. It’s what we do in our profession. So, to be recognized by the Senior Class as someone they want to honor by naming this statue after is completely humbling and I’m just speechless.”