When Wilson Montessori students came back from spring break on Monday, they returned to a new three-story building addition specifically designed to evoke a sense of nature and the environment.
Soft earth tones color the walls and floors, different types of tiles provide a sense of texture and expansive windows help connect students to the outdoors.
“Montessori goes back to the environment and taking care of the environment,” Wilson Montessori Principal Beth Bonnette said. “As a part of our environment, the concrete hallways are painted brown and blue like land and water, and the students like the ebb and flow that goes with that.”
Roaring applause and cheers of joy echoed throughout the Parker Elementary School cafeteria on Monday as Principal Lori Frodine welcomed students to the first day of school in their new building.
To mark the first day, students gathered by grade level for assemblies in the cafeteria, where Frodine excitedly introduced the students to the new facility and its features and answered their questions.
“You guys have the coolest music rooms ever,” Frodine said to the eager students seated before her.
Sugary donuts and hot coffee lined blue tables at the front entrance of Kolter Elementary School as students, faculty, and parents covered their hands with bright-colored paint and marked the building’s exterior with vibrant handprints.
The festivities were part of a “Donuts before Demo” event designed to allow hundreds of community members the chance to say goodbye to their beloved building, which is being demolished and rebuilt due to damages sustained from Hurricane Harvey.
“It’s exciting,” Kolter Principal Julie Dickinson said, smiling. “Although initial circumstances weren’t ideal, we’re getting a new building. It’s worth the wait.”
The new Barbara Jordan High School for Careers is beginning to take shape with the building’s footprint almost finished and exterior and interior wall framing underway.
Roof installation — a major project milestone — is nearly complete, and installation of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems is underway. In addition, the building will be fully enclosed by the end of May.
Jordan’s $42.4 million construction project is a part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, which calls for the renovation or rebuilding of 40 schools, including 29 high schools. The 120,000-square-foot career center will accommodate 600 to 800 students who will spend part of the day at their home school and part of the day at Jordan participating in specialized, hands-on career training.
Construction on the new Madison High School has now reached the halfway point — a significant milestone for the building project, which is part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program.
Exterior wall installation is nearly finished, and window and roof installation are underway. Brick work has begun on the southeast corner of the building, and fencing is now up along the perimeter of the school’s west parking lot.
Crews also are framing interior walls, installing utilities and flooring, and finishing concrete walls in the auto shop, as well as in locker rooms and restrooms.
HISD Construction Services on Monday led Board of Education Trustee Diana Dávila and other district administrators on a tour of the new High School for Law & Justice, which is set for completion next month.
An outdoor patio overlooking the Houston skyline, a realistic courtroom classroom, and a large cafetorium with floor-to-ceiling windows were just a few of the areas attendees got a sneak peek of during the tour.
HISD Board of Education Trustee Diana Dávila said she is pleased with the building’s overall architecture and location.
‘We could be anywhere, and we would still be Robinson’
If anyone could find a silver lining amid the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, it’s Robinson Elementary School Principal Paige Fernandez-Hohos. After being flooded with more than a foot of water, Robinson was relocated and students split between two adjacent campuses. Though not ideal, the situation made Fernandez-Hohos determined to give students a sense of normalcy. Vacant rooms and hallways sprung to life with decorations. Auditorium and gym spaces were transformed into cozy classrooms to accommodate more students. Fernandez-Hohos trekked back and forth between the two campuses. If she started the day welcoming students at one school, she ended it saying goodbye to students at the other. It was important, she said, that every class see her every day. Robinson students returned to their home campus in January, but Fernandez-Hohos said the storm taught her a valuable lesson about the spirit of her school: “When everything else is stripped away, all you’re left with is the bond between teachers and students. We could be anywhere, and we would still be Robinson.”
With construction nearing completion, Parker Elementary School staff are making plans to move into their new building over Spring Break and open their doors to students on March 19.
The project is more than 80 percent complete. Interior painting and flooring are underway, and crews will finish pouring exterior driveways and walkways later this week.
“We’re really excited to get moved into our new school,” Parker Principal Lori Frodine said, praising the unique architecture of the new building. “It’s such a cool building with a lot of great space.”
The HISD Business Assistance Supplier Diversity team is holding an outreach session on Friday for minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE) interested in working as subcontractors on the projects to rebuild four schools damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Last week, the HISD Board of Education selected Satterfield & Pontikes Construction as the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) tasked with overseeing the demolition and construction of the four elementary schools – Kolter, Mitchell, Braeburn, and Scarborough. Continue reading →
Washington High School students and staff are edging closer to moving into their new building with the construction project now 85 percent complete.
Tile flooring and doors have been installed, as have cabinetry, countertops, and fume hoods in the career and technology classrooms, science and agricultural labs, and computer-aided design spaces. Crews are installing bathroom fixtures and sinks in the science and engineering labs where painting and floor staining also are underway.
In addition, crews are nearly done painting the auditorium and administrative offices and wrapping up installation of the school’s elevator.