Large science labs, the gymnasium, and views of the Houston skyline were just some of the highlights seen by Project Advisory Team members as they were led on a tour of the new Yates High School on Thursday.
As attendees made their way through the facility making stops in the auditorium, dining commons, and JROTC spaces, the group huddled up near the large windows of a second-floor extended learning area to take in a full view of the University of Houston’s TDECU Stadium.
Currently the construction project is 85 percent complete with interior finishes — flooring, painting and ceiling tile installation — underway. All sidewalks and driveways have been poured and science lab equipment has been installed. Furniture selections will be finalized in the coming weeks.
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.
When construction of the new Yates High School is complete next year, it will offer unparalleled views of the city with Downtown Houston to the north, Texas Medical Center to the south, and the Galleria to the west.
The 360-degree view — which includes University of Houston to the east and Texas Southern University to the west — is already visible from top floors of the building, the construction of which is almost a quarter of the way completed.
“It’s starting to move very quickly,” said Yates Principal Ken Davis, who got his first glimpse at the new school during a recent Project Advisory Team meeting and site visit. “I’m excited about that. It’s an exciting feeling to know it is happening. After years of planning, it’s actually happening.”
The Lion’s Den at Jack Yates High School roared with excitement as the graduating Class of 2017 scribbled their signatures on the final steel beam to be erected in the construction of their new school.
Once all seniors had signed, they joined with school staff to watch as the beam was hoisted into the air and placed in its new home — the auditorium. The beam will be installed and left exposed, showcasing the signatures from the class of 2017.
“The kids were concerned that they weren’t going to have any history with the new school since they’ll be graduating in May,” said Yates Principal Ken Davis, who worked with the construction staff to surprise the students with the informal ceremony. “We told them that we were going to sign the beam — a little bit of history about you will go into the new building.”
HISD’s Millionaire Club is a literacy initiative designed to encourage students to read for pleasure during the summer months. Each week, we’ll catch up with one HISD librarian to find out what’s on his or her reading list. This week, we spoke with Velda Hunter, a librarian at Jack Yates High School.
What are you reading right now? What attracted you to those selections?
I never read just one or two books at a time. I am reading a variety of good reads, including high school Name That Book selections. Mystery is my favorite genre, so the mystery-thriller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is one of the first I chose from the new Name That Book list.