Rising five stories into the air, the new Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is becoming a real presence in downtown Houston with the building now 80 percent complete and visible progress being made every day.
Permanent power is now connected, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are up and running. Work on mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, as well as installation of internal sheetrock and external masonry is ongoing. Workers will focus next on interior fixtures and finishes.
“It’s amazing how fast it changes,” Kinder HSPVA Principal R. Scott Allen said. “Several times I’ve come here in the morning and then stopped by again after work, and I can see a lot of progress within that day.”
The $88 million project, which is part of the Houston Independent School District’s 2012 Bond Program, is located between Caroline and Austin streets near the city’s renowned arts and theater district.
The 168,000-square-foot school will include five stories of classroom and program space, plus two levels of underground parking. Other features include a dramatic main entrance with two-story-high glass windows, an 800-seat main theater with a balcony, a secondary studio theater, a black box theater, dance and music studios, and ample practice and performance space.
“It’s very impressive,” HISD Trustee Diana Davila said on a recent tour of the facility. “It will be very competitive to what already exists in the Theater District. Kids will do great things in this building.”
The school also will feature creative writing labs along with art and sculpture studios with spaces for students to display their work. A modern outdoor dining patio and a fifth-floor outdoor terrace will allow students to enjoy fresh air during the school day.
The building is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018 and open to students in January 2019.
Kinder HSPVA is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools, being rebuilt or renovated as part of HISD’s voter-approved bond program. Construction is currently underway on about two dozen campuses, and half of all bond schools are now complete and open to students. Once all work is finished, the district will boast of one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the country.
Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.