Author Archives: HISD Communications

Construction Services administrative team tours new Milby, DeBakey high schools

HISD Construction Services administrative staff excitedly boarded a big yellow school bus last Friday, eager to tour several district construction sites and see the fruits of their labor.

“It really is a team effort to build these schools,” said Derrick Sanders, HISD’s officer of Construction Services. “Our administrative staff is as important to what we’re doing as the architect or project manager, so I wanted them to get a firsthand look at what they are helping to build.”

The group of about 20 staffers got to walk through the newly constructed Milby High School and DeBakey High School for Health Professions, both of which will open this summer. The field trip also included a drive-by of High School for Law and Justice, Yates High School, and Energy Institute High School, which are all well into construction. Continue reading

Furr HS parents get sneak peek of new school

Furr High School Principal Bertie Simmons celebrated her 83rd birthday last week by leading Trustee Diana Davila and other school supporters on a tour of their new campus, which is being rebuilt as part of the 2012 Bond Program.

“It’s the most beautiful building in the district,” Simmons said. “We can’t wait to move in.”

With construction on the new facility now more than 80 percent complete, anticipation among stakeholders is growing every day as they see the project nearing the finish line. Construction is expected to be completed in mid-June, and the building then will be stocked with new furniture and technology, making way for teachers and staff to move in over the summer. Continue reading

Groundbreaking ceremonies planned for Westbury HS, Garden Oaks Montessori

Westbury High School and Garden Oaks Montessori will hold groundbreaking ceremonies this week to celebrate the start of construction on their campuses as part of the voter-approved 2012 Bond Program.

Westbury is set to receive a new two-story addition and renovations to the existing building to accommodate 2,300 to 2,500 students. The new $40 million facility will feature 26 new classrooms that will replace current portable buildings, flexible learning centers, a commons area designed to serve a dual purpose as both a dining and gathering space, and two gymnasiums. New baseball and softball fields were included in an early phase of the project and already have been completed. Continue reading

Westbury HS ready to start construction

Westbury High School held a bond community meeting on Wednesday to go over final design plans and provide an overview of what students, staff, and neighbors can expect during construction, which starts this month.

As part of HISD’s voter-approved, 2012 bond program, the school is set to receive a new, two-story addition, general renovations to the existing building, and new athletics facilities. The new facility will accommodate 2,300 to 2,500 students.

“It’s taken a lot of planning to get to this point, but we’re ready to move forward with construction,” said Westbury Principal Susan Monaghan. “We plan to officially break ground next week.” Continue reading

View bond construction progress up close and online – no hard hat required

Anyone interested in viewing construction progress at HISD bond schools may only need an internet connection, as web cameras are being installed at several sites to make daily update photos available to everyone.

Program management firm Rice & Gardner Consultants recently began installing online web cams at several of the schools for which they provide project management services. Currently three projects, Wilson Montessori, HSPVA, and High School for Law and Justice, have cameras up and running with live internet links. Others are expected to come online in the coming months as more construction gets underway.

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Benefits of risk evaluation and mitigation the focus of February’s Workshop Wednesday

Prudential Financial Services Manager Ronald Swanson gave tips to Houston-area small business owners on Wednesday about how to evaluate risks and take steps to ensure that their businesses and families are protected in the event of death or disability.

“The worst thing you can do is to have no plan at all,” Swanson said, speaking at HISD’s monthly Workshop Wednesday forum. “You can transfer or mitigate risks though buy-sell agreements and life insurance.”

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Almost half of HISD bond projects to be finished by summer 2017

Almost half of the schools being renovated or rebuilt as part of the Houston Independent School District’s 2012 Bond Program will be complete and open to students by the end of this summer.

The Bond Program team expects to have 40 percent of all bond projects wrapped up and opening their doors by the end of the second quarter, HISD Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders told the Bond Oversight Committee on Tuesday during their regular quarterly meeting.

“Tremendous progress was made in the fourth quarter,” Sanders told the oversight committee. “This thing has taken shape. It’s real, and it’s way further along than what most people realize.” Continue reading

New Milby HS eyes summer opening


Construction on the new Milby High School is now 85 percent complete and on track to open in time for summer school.

The three-story $69 million project, part of HISD’s 2012 bond program, is a combination of new construction and renovation that preserves the historical front façade while creating a modern learning environment to accommodate 2,000 students.

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New Furr HS set to open this summer

Construction on the new Furr High School is now about 75 percent complete, and the building is on track to open this coming summer.

As part of HISD’s $1.89 billion bond program, Furr will receive a new 182,000-square-foot $55 million building to accommodate 1,300 students. The three-story building has been designed to enhance the school’s science, technology, engineering, and arts programs. It will include flexible, brightly colored learning areas with moveable furniture and sliding glass doors to make the rooms easily adjustable.

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Madison HS prepares for start of construction on new school

Madison High School Principal Orlando Reyna hosted a community meeting on Thursday to review final designs and reveal an overview of construction plans for the school’s new $82.7 million building, which crews will start to build in the coming weeks.

About 25 stakeholders turned out to hear from the project manager, the architect, and the contractor, and ask them questions. Continue reading