Category Archives: Business Operations

Construction of new Austin HS to reach milestone on Monday

An immense construction crane will lift the first wall of the new Austin High School into place on Monday, marking a significant development for the 2012 Bond project.

The news was announced to the school’s Project Advisory Team on Wednesday during its regular meeting, which also included general construction and budget updates.

The $80.9 million project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2020, will feature modern classrooms and flexible learning spaces while also preserving the historic front facade of the original main building, which opened in 1937.

“Tours of the construction site for small groups of students would really build excitement about the progress we’re making,” HISD Construction Services Senior Manager Meredith Smith said. Continue reading

New transportation software helping phase out manual bus inspections

Roughly 90 percent of HISD bus drivers are now completing their required twice-daily bus inspections electronically with Zonar, a fleet management and tracking system implemented by Transportation Services earlier this school year.

The success rate was determined as a result of one-on-one inspections conducted this week by the transportation leadership team at all four bus terminals. The spot checks were completed on-site each morning prior to the start of morning bus routes. Additional random checks will continue.

“We now have the ability to electronically collect fleet data, which is automatically accessible to our fleet maintenance department,” Transportation Services Interim General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “It’s made our manual inspection process obsolete.” Continue reading

Milby HS to receive highest honor in school architecture competition

Construction at Milby High School, June 21, 2017. (Dave Einsel/Houston ISD)

Milby High School is one of two schools selected to receive the prestigious 2018-2019 Caudill Award, the highest honor presented in the statewide Exhibit of School Architecture.

The annual 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.
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Transportation Services continuing focus on streamlining operations, reducing late arrivals

HISD Transportation Services kicked off the new year with 41 fewer bus routes — an intentional reduction designed to streamline operations and increase efficiency.

Transportation officials report that operations are running smoothly following the reduction and note they have seen an average of 20 or fewer buses — less than 3 percent of the district’s 860 routes — arriving late to school each morning during the first week of the spring semester. The numbers are tracked manually.

“We’re continuing to look for ways in which we can do better. I believe that we can always improve,” Interim General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “But we’re off to a good start.” Continue reading

Barbara Jordan Career Center opens the doors to its new facility

Barbara Jordan Career Center welcomed its first group of students to the new building Monday morning as they made their way from their home school to spend the first half of their day at the newly built facility.

“They are learning their way around,” Principal Scott McAlpine said. “They are really excited about being here and having this new building, it’s going to be a great opportunity for them.”

The new career center is one of 29 high schools being renovated or rebuilt as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program.
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Worthing HS students start the new year in new building

Students at Worthing High School gathered in the new cafeteria before class on Monday, comparing class schedules for the spring semester and discussing the new building.

Worthing Principal Khalilah Campbell-Rhone said the school’s new home has been a long time coming for the Sunnyside community.

“They have been waiting for about 12 years for a new building to be erected,” Campbell-Rhone said. “So, there’s obviously a lot of excitement to see this finally happen.” Continue reading

Wharton Dual Language Academy opens new campus

Wharton Dual Language Academy officially opened its new campus Monday, welcoming students and staff to the first day of classes in the $39.2 million facility.

Students, faculty, and staff at the PK-8 school were eager to return to their new and improved home campus after spending the last year and a half housed in temporary buildings a few blocks away during construction.

“The new building has infused new life into the school and community,” Principal Jennifer Day said. “We moved from a very old building and temp buildings into a new state-of-the-art everything – technology, a maker space, science labs, and more. There are so many more learning opportunities for our students, and we are looking forward to adding more students and more programs.” Continue reading

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.” Continue reading

Sam Houston MSTC students return from holiday break to new building

It was a seamless transition to the new Sam Houston Math, Science and Technology Center Monday as students entered the building for the first time.

“When I walked in for the first time, my jaw dropped. It literally looks like a college,” senior Yuri Caballero said. “There is so much light and space in here.”

Sam Houston MSTC is one of 29 high schools being renovated or rebuilt as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program.
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New year, new school for Madison HS students

Students at Madison High School chattered excitedly about their modern surroundings Monday as they made their way to class on the first day of the spring semester.

Madison Principal Paolo Castagnoli said fun activities were planned to welcome back the students, including a virtual tour of the school and several food trucks for lunch.

“Everything’s great,” Castagnoli said. “We love our new facility.” Continue reading