Austin High School students and staff began the spring semester on Monday in a temporary campus in preparation for the start of construction on their new building.
The new Temporary Learning Center — dubbed by school officials as the “TLC” and made up of temporary buildings — was built to ensure student and staff safety during construction. It is located along South Lockwood Drive, directly behind the existing school building.
Located in Houston’s East End, the 80-year-old comprehensive high school is being rebuilt as part of the Houston Independent School District’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. Plans for the $79.6 million project call for a new facility that preserves the original building’s architecturally significant building structure and can accommodate up to 2,000 students. Continue reading →
Scarborough High School senior Melanie Esquivel remembers all too well how often the school band has been shuffled around over the last few years.
They practiced first in the dance hall and then in the gym, but the acoustics amped up their sound so much teachers in nearby classrooms often complained. So they moved into the cramped black box theater, where they made do.
“I almost cried when I saw it. It’s just so emotional. I’ve been waiting so long for it,” the 17-year-old flutist said, hardly able to contain her excitement as she pointed out features of the school’s new band hall. “We’re finally like a big part of the school.”
Hundreds of North Forest High School students followed Principal Darryl Henson across Mesa Road on Monday, coming together to formally mark their transition into their new school.
The $59.5 million campus is the first new high school built in the North Forest community in almost 50 years.
“It’s important to show our students that we are coming over into a new environment that was built just for them,” Henson said, talking about the importance of the ceremonial walk from the old building to the new one. “I want the kids to feel a sense of pride and ownership.”
Lining the sidewalk outside the school, Sharpstown JROTC members lifted their ceremonial swords to the sky while band members played celebratory music to officially welcome their fellow students to their new campus.
Built as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, the new school formally opened its doors on Monday. To celebrate the occasion, students and teachers gathered first at their old building and then ceremoniously walked together to the new school. Continue reading →
Christmas came early for Askew Elementary School Project Advisory Team members, who got their first tour of their new building Thursday afternoon.
Brightly colored classrooms, a learning commons overlooking the library, and large cafetorium were just a few of the spaces PAT members got a glimpse of during their walk-through, which included a final stop in the principal’s office.
Askew Principal Ebony Cumby smiled as she said she could already envision the exact placement of her new red couch.
When Northside High School alumnus Machell Blackwell walked through the doorway on the third floor of her alma matter, she said she felt like she was walking through time.
On one side of the well-worn building, it seemed dark and confined — even a bit dated. But on the other, hallways were lighter, classrooms were brighter, and there was a colorful, collaborative space where students could gather to work in small groups.
“To me, I feel like I was walking through a time machine,” said a smiling Blackwell, who also serves as a Northside PTO recruiter and member of both the Northside Project Advisory Team and Shared Decision-Making Committee. “I just walked into the 21st century.”
Construction on the new Lawson Middle School is making steady progress, with work now more than 70 percent complete and on track to be finished in the second quarter of 2018.
Walls and ceiling have been installed, and, in the coming weeks, crews will begin painting the gymnasium, locker rooms, and a section of the academic pods. Installation of the theater stage and elevator also are underway, and driveways are being poured on both the east and west sides of the building.
“It’s exciting,” Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said, noting that she and her staff would be doing a walk-through next week. “Last time they toured the building, it was just a shell. This time they’ll have a more vivid picture of what the spaces will look like since windows, walls, and doors are installed.”
Construction of the new Yates High School is more than halfway complete, with crews already in the process of installing floors, painting walls, laying pavers, pouring sidewalks, and erecting permanent fencing.
A CenterPoint transformer and meter also has been set, meaning power soon will be connected to the building, allowing crews to begin testing mechanical systems inside the building.
The main entry facing north is nearly complete, with the main entry facing south and building signage soon to follow. The elevator also will soon be installed, and project officials plan to begin ordering new furniture in January.
Students, faculty, and community members gathered Tuesday in the Austin High School auditorium to learn about the construction plan for their new facility, as well as the logistics of their relocation to a temporary campus.
Austin High School is being re-built as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. The $79.6 million project calls for a new facility that accommodates 1,800 to 2,000 students and preserves the architecturally significant structure of the current building.
To accommodate construction and ensure safety, students and staff will relocate to a temporary campus — made up of 15 temporary buildings offering all of the school’s current academic and athletic programs — along S. Lockwood Drive. Students will report to the temporary campus, which is directly behind the current school, when they return from winter break on Jan. 8.
Construction of two new buildings at Garden Oaks Montessori is nearing the finish line as both structures, as well as the first phase of campus renovations, are scheduled to be complete next quarter.
In the new buildings, external masonry and metal panels have been installed, as have most windows. All interior walls have been inspected and now are being insulated and covered.
Much of the remaining work will focus on interior finishes, including installation of ceiling panels, drywall, doors, and other built-ins.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, but the project has made great progress,” said Garden Oaks Montessori Principal Lindsey Pollock. “We’re planning to move in over spring break, and that’s very exciting.” Continue reading →