Category Archives: 21st century schools

New Wharton Dual Language Academy building nears completion

Construction on the new Wharton Dual Language Academy is now 95 percent complete with the project team, school principal, and teachers making plans to welcome students to the new facility in January.

Crews are currently wrapping up work on interior finishes and have begun waxing floors and sodding outdoor areas. All mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are operational, data cable installation is complete, and final inspections are underway.

“Four years ago, we began planning. As we approach our move-in, it is exciting to see the final touches be put in place and to see our vision come to life,” Wharton Principal Jennifer Day said. “It is a beautiful facility, and we’re looking forward to our opening day with students in January.” Continue reading

Bond Oversight Committee updated on remaining school construction projects

HISD’s Bond Oversight Committee gathered for their quarterly meeting on Tuesday to discuss the progress of 2012 Bond Program construction, which is 74 percent completed and expected to wrap up by 2020.

HISD Construction Services is expected to complete more than 80 percent of all planned school construction projects by the end of the year, including bond projects, and renovations and rebuilds related to Hurricane Harvey.

By early next year, only four bond schools — Lamar, Bellaire, Northside, and Austin high schools — will remain under construction. Continue reading

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.” Continue reading

Hilliard ES holds grand re-opening celebration

The atmosphere was festive and joyful at Hilliard Elementary School on Thursday morning, as students and staff gathered to welcome guests, and celebrate the grand re-opening of their beloved campus, which was heavily damaged last year in Hurricane Harvey.

Hilliard students and staff spent last school year at the former Fonwood Early Childhood Center to allow crews time to repair and renovate their flood-damaged campus. The school officially moved back to their refurbished building over the summer, in time for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

“We are so excited to be on our home campus,” Hilliard Principal Erika Kimble said. “We are back, and we are thriving.”

Since Hurricane Harvey, the school — including all classrooms, the library, and the gym — has been completely restored, as have the campus grounds. Additionally, a new retention pond and extensive storm drainage system have been added to prevent future flooding. Continue reading

New Bellaire HS design unveiled to community members

Community members gathered in the Bellaire High School auditorium to witness the unveiling of the new school building’s design.

Bellaire’s $132 million project is a part of the 2012 Bond Program. The new building will feature a new three-story academic wing – containing classroom and administrative spaces – along with multiple flexible learning areas for group collaboration, library with makerspace, two gymnasiums, and an exterior courtyard.

“I think the renderings are amazing,” Bellaire Principal Michael McDonough said. “When you see the shared spaces, you think community, and when the students are together as a community, it invigorates school pride.”

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New Kinder HSPVA nears completion, set to open in January

Construction on the new Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is almost complete and scheduled to open at the start of 2019.

Kinder HSPVA’s $88 million project, which is part of the Houston Independent School District’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, is scheduled to open to students during first quarter of 2019.

Installation of building technology and system setup is currently underway, with furniture delivery slated to begin next month. Crews are now focused on finishing punch list items and finalizing the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Continue reading

Lamar HS construction passes halfway mark

Construction at Lamar High School made steady progress over the summer, positioning the $129.2 million state-of-the art learning facility to surpass 50 percent completion this month.

Work on the exterior walls, roofing, window frames, and glass is in progress, along with installation of interior wall framing, drywall, door frames, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

Structural steel erection and concrete floor deck installation, the gymnasium, and natatorium are complete, and permanent power is expected to be connected by the end of the month. Continue reading

New culinary program space opens at Northside HS

Northside High School opened two new commercial grade learning kitchens at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, giving a boost to the school’s popular culinary arts magnet program.

The new culinary classrooms are part of a $66 million, multi-phase renovation project taking place at the school as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. The Northside project is two-thirds complete.
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Milby HS selected as finalist for Texas school architecture competition

Milby High School is one of four finalists vying for the highest honor offered by the 2018-19 Exhibit of School Architecture Competition.

Twenty-seven projects from school districts across the state were awarded 2018 Stars of Distinction in six categories — community, planning, transformation, design, value, and sustainability. Milby was awarded six out of six stars.

The annual architecture competition showcases new and renovated Texas schools and recognizes excellence in their planning and design. It is sponsored by the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards. Continue reading

Energy Institute HS celebrates grand opening of new facility

Known for its innovation, Energy Institute — which once programmed robots to shovel dirt at its groundbreaking ceremony — decided to forego a traditional ribbon-cutting, and instead have students use a circular saw to cut a wooden board laser printed with the school’s logo. The cut pieces were then presented to special guests at the event.

“What a journey,” Energy Principal Lori Lambropoulos said as she looked out to the crowd. “This school is the first one of its kind in the nation, and we could not have done any of this without all of you in this room.” Continue reading