Kinder HSPVA students get first look at new campus

Excitement filled the air Wednesday at the new Kinder HSPVA as students toured the facility for the first time in advance of the school’s official opening day on Jan. 7.

Over winter break, the school will move out of its current campus in Montrose and into a new five-story building located at 790 Austin St. in downtown Houston near the city’s renowned arts and theater district.

“I think their mouths will be wide open,” HSPVA Principal Scott Allen predicted as he waited for the students to arrive. “They’ve seen photos, but that doesn’t do this building justice. They will feel so special that this state-of-the-art, one-of-a-kind facility was built just for them.”

Part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program, the 168,000-square-foot school includes 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, a fitness center, and ample practice and performance space.

“This is so good. It’s so exciting,” junior percussion student Brandon Lazard said as he took in the fifth floor band hall. “It’s amazing. We have our own space that fits everything we need.”

As students made their way through all five levels of the building, they got to find their classrooms and lockers and explore all the amenities.

“It’s the most beautiful school that I’ve ever seen,” senior theater student Leslie Philips said. “There is so much space, and I really love the fitness center and the recording studio.”

During the visit, students also were briefed on new expectations and procedures for the facility and received new identification badges.

“It’s overwhelming, but in a good way,” senior vocal student Alejandro Reyes said. “It feels like the next step in PVA’s journey. I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Kinder HSPVA is one of six 2012 Bond schools that will officially open on Jan. 7, bringing the program to more than 80 percent completion. Once all work is finished, HISD will feature 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.