Eastwood Academy HS celebrates opening of new building additions

Members of the East End community joined with the students and staff of Eastwood Academy on Friday, Oct. 19 to celebrate the completion and opening of the school’s new additions and renovations.

Built as part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program, the $10.9 million project was completed in two phases. The first phase, which opened in January of this year, included renovations to the existing building and construction of an administrative wing. Phase two, a two-story library wing, opened for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

“Our students have long-deserved a place that reflects their tremendous achievements,” Eastwood Academy Principal Brandi Lira said. “I am so grateful for the bond program, the district administrators, and the trustees, that they believed in making this building a reality for our students.”

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said she was proud of the things happening at the award-winning college prep high school featuring career and technical programs for engineering and cyber security.

“Eastwood Academy is a shining example of how fresh and modern spaces can help to revitalize the learning that takes place within the walls of a school. The possibilities of what can be accomplished by these students are endless,” Lathan said.

Eastwood Academy Junior Class Student Council President Mercedes Sotelo thanked HISD administrators and community members for their support of the school and their part in the building project.

“Eastwood isn’t just my school, it’s my home,” Sotelo said. “There are so many different kinds of people that each bring something special to our school. Eastwood is a unique place of comfort, and our new facility has fostered that environment even further.”

The school’s new administrative wing houses the facility’s main entrance, a student dining and multipurpose area, career and technical education classrooms, an athletics facility, and a large covered patio. The library expansion contains additional teaching spaces, small and large group gathering areas, a community meeting room, and an enclosed walkway that connects to the main entrance.

“This school has been the gem of the East End for many years,” HISD Board of Education Trustee Diana Dávila said. “The reason this building is here is because of support for the bond, so thank you to all of the taxpayers who made this possible.”

Guests also heard from elected officials, including State Rep. Carol Alvarado, State Rep. Ana Hernandez, and State Sen. Sylvia Garcia, who presented a commemorative certificate to the school.

Eastwood Academy is one of more than a dozen HISD campuses to formally open new or renovated buildings to students for the start of the 2018-2019 school year. More than 70 percent of all school construction projects are now complete and open to students. That number is expected to top 80 percent by the end of 2018. Once all projects are finished, HISD will have one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the country.

Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest construction updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.