Author Archives: HISD Communications

Rooftop garden inspires learning and excitement at Atherton ES

Students and staff at Atherton Elementary are excited about the newest addition to their campus – a rooftop garden. And they have big plans for it.

“We can learn how plants grow and change over time,” said fifth-grader Nathaniel Alvarenga.

“It’s helping our ecosystems,” added his classmate Isacc Solis. “Birds and bees come, and the bees pollinate the plants.”

Atherton received a new building as part of the 2007 bond program, but plans for the rooftop garden were put on hold as other items took priority. Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones supported the garden, which is receiving its finishing touches this month. The project also got a boost from IDG Architects’ Ben McMillan, who donated funds last October. Continue reading

HISD announces upcoming bond sales

Houston Independent School District (“the District”) is currently planning to access the capital markets in April/May 2017. The District anticipates selling the following transactions via negotiated sale. The final size and structure of the transactions have not yet been determined and is subject to change. While it is the District’s expectation to move forward with these transactions, it reserves the right to change or modify its plans as it deems appropriate. Continue reading

Codwell ES and Sterling Aviation HS celebrations focus on neighborhood schools

Brenda Zackery doesn’t mind all the trucks and construction noise at Codwell Elementary across the street from her house on Tavenor Lane, part of a $12.5 million renovation of the school.

“I was upset when they closed it,” she said of the building, which was shuttered to students in 2014 because of moisture problems. “I had gotten used to the kids waking me up in the morning. It will be good for the community when they reopen it.”

Workers didn’t pause on Friday as neighbors, parents, students, and HISD staff gathered at the school site to officially celebrate the construction with a groundbreaking ceremony. The event was part of a milestone day for HISD’s South Area feeder pattern community, which also included a grand-opening celebration for the new Sterling Aviation High School just down the street.

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Askew ES community hears construction update on new school

Parents and neighbors gathered Tuesday at Askew Elementary to learn more about the construction of their new school, which is being built as part of HISD’s 2012 bond program.

“Construction is well underway. We’re moving and we’re moving fast,” Jorge Huerta, Askew’s project manager told the group, many of whom cheered the announcement.

The new school has a target opening in the third quarter of 2018, in time for the start of the new school year. Crews then will demolish the old building to make way for a parking lot and playgrounds, work that is expected to be completed by the end of that year.

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Austin High School bond project update draws big crowd

More than 300 students, staff and community members gathered at Austin High School on Tuesday to get an update on plans to rebuild the 80-year-old school and a first glimpse at what the new facility could look like.

Plans for the campus include modern, open spaces allowing for lots of daylight, better traffic flow in and around the campus, clusters of classrooms to allow for a neighborhood learning concept, and a new, defined entry off of Jefferson Street.

“This really is about our students. We’re providing them with a different type of learning environment,” HISD Design General Manager Dan Bankhead told the crowd, explaining that students no longer sit in rows doing worksheets. “What we find now is students work better when they learn from each other, when they’re collaborative.”
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Hundreds celebrate the groundbreaking for new Parker ES

Architect Christian Sheridan had a simple strategy for making sure he remembered what’s important while designing the new $29.5 million Parker Elementary.

He kept a list of more than two dozen must-haves for the new campus, authored by Parker students two years ago during a special workshop hosted by his firm, Brave Architecture, to gather input on everything from paint colors to windows.

On Saturday, in front of nearly 400 people who turned out to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new school, Sheridan’s two young daughters presented the list, matted and framed, to Parker Principal Lori Frodine as a reminder that the new school reflects the needs of the people who will use it.
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HISD Police Department kicks off 2nd annual art contest for Police Appreciation Week

The HISD Police Department is looking for kindergarten through second-grade students to show off their artistic skills for the department’s second annual art contest, which kicks off today.

The department is asking for students to showcase their artistic skills on the “Theme of Law Enforcement” to be displayed during Police Appreciation Week (May 15-21).

“Last year’s contest produced over 200 entries,” said HISD Police Lt. Guadalupe Jimenez. “Our focus on Police Appreciation Week allows our students an opportunity to visualize the work that officers perform each day and to consider becoming a police officer as a career choice.”

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New addition at Wilson Montessori K-8 to complement historic building

Nearly three dozen parents and neighbors turned out to Wilson Montessori K-8 on Thursday to hear the latest updates on the proposed addition and renovations to the school under the district’s bond program.

The Montrose-area school is slated to receive $18.9 million, and will feature a new three-story addition, as well as renovations to the existing facility, built in 1924.

Terry Smith of Smith & Co. Architects walked the audience through the latest design concept, in which the three-story building addition will feature a two-story library space designed with large exterior windows so that students can “experience the outside from the inside.”
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Grier honored at HISD ‘Celebration of Service’ for record of accomplishment

The district hosted a celebration of service for outgoing Superintendent Terry Grier on Wednesday to mark his decision to step down on Feb. 29 after serving nearly seven years in HISD’s top job.

The event drew dozens of community supporters, elected officials, principals, and district staff to the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, where Dr. Grier’s accomplishments were remembered and lauded.

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Tour gives Waltrip HS community a look at bond renovations

Seeing was believing Tuesday night at Waltrip High School when those who turned out for a community meeting got a sneak preview of what’s to come with the ongoing renovation and construction project.

“You don’t mind coming in here for a meeting,” said Michael Arcos, whose son Aaron is a junior at the school. “It’s good to see this auditorium upgraded.”

New seats, cleaning of acoustical panels, stage floor replacement and new improved lighting in the auditorium are just some of the upgrades at the school, which is being partially replaced and renovated under the bond program.

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