Kinder HSPVA opens new building in downtown Houston

Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts opened in downtown Houston on Monday, welcoming students for the first day of classes in the school’s new $88 million facility.

Part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program, the school relocated over winter break from Montrose to the new five-story building constructed near the city’s renowned arts and theater district.

“Welcome to 790 Austin Street!” HSPVA Principal Scott Allen exclaimed, as hundreds of excited students cheered in response. “HISD built this building just for you.”

Allen, who was also celebrating his birthday the same day, said he is proud of the new building and happy that the modern facility has the program space that HSPVA student artists deserve and that will help them to reach new levels.

“It’s so much fun seeing the kids walking the building and figuring it all out,” Allen said. “It warms my heart to see all the smiles and enthusiasm today. It’s a pretty great birthday.”

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 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.

Senior jazz piano player Tyler Henderson said he likes the new location and looks forward to exploring the downtown area more.

“It’s great. We needed it,” Henderson said. “The new equipment gives us the best possible chance of getting the most out of our art.”

Sophomore trumpet player Sarah Grace, who recently competed on NBC’s The Voice, also gave kudos to the new building.

“I’m absolutely blown away! The building is beautiful,” she said. “This community is so supportive and inspiring, not just of me, but of everyone. It’s great to see all of us come together in this new space.”

Kinder HSPVA is one of six 2012 Bond schools that officially opened 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.