Excitement could be seen on the faces of many students at Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy as they walked the halls of their newly renovated facility for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.
The school’s multi-phased construction project wrapped earlier this summer with completion of the final work to third-floor classrooms and learning commons areas.
“It’s definitely exciting,” YWCPA Principal April Williams said, mentioning the completion of the school’s final renovations. “It really sells our school well and the girls deserve it.”
Construction on the newly renovated Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy is nearly 100 percent complete as the final phase of the project wraps up in preparation for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
When they return this August, students will be greeted by renovated third-floor classrooms, new extended learning areas, and updated restrooms, all of which will be complete in a matter of days.
“My students, staff, and I are beyond thrilled about the renovations,” YWCPA Principal April Williams said. “This updated, modern facility — which still has its character and charm from the past — will indeed change the way we teach and change the way our girls learn.”
April Williams has been named principal of Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy. Most recently, she served as principal of the two-time National Blue Ribbon School Oak Forest Elementary. Dr. Williams began her 15-year career with HISD as a fifth-grade teacher at Law Elementary School and served as a classroom teacher at Peck Elementary and Ryan Middle School. While at Peck and Ryan, she was named Classroom Teacher of the Year and English as a Second Language Teacher of the Year. Dr. Williams has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Lamar University. She holds a doctorate of education in professional leadership from the University of Houston.
When Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy students returned for the 2017-2018 school year, they came back to a new building addition complete with gym, locker rooms, and science and career technology labs.
The work is part of a $31.1 million project, which calls for general renovations to the campus, as well as a partial replacement of the building. Once complete, the school — part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program — will accommodate between 900 and 1,000 students.
“The renovations and new addition are wonderful,” said Interim Principal Tiffany Bob, who also serves as high school dean. “I can’t wait until the other phases are done. I’m looking forward to the final product.”
Five different HISD schools were recently named “Champions off the Field” by the Souper Bowl of Caring for their efforts to fight hunger.
This annual food drive and fundraiser, which ran from Jan. 20 – Feb. 7, generated more than $9.9 million in donations nationally this year, a portion of which came from the 33 HISD schools that participated.
Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, among HISD’s oldest school buildings, will undergo a $27.1 million renovation/addition that will expand learning spaces throughout the current building and add modern science and technology labs to enhance STEM curriculum.
Plans are in place to preserve much of the historic building, as well as the facade, and transform what now are three separate buildings into one cohesive structure.
The sounds of students hard at work — plotting, drilling, and making deals — filled the room at Houston Community College-Southwest during the Independent Petroleum Association of America/Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association (IPAA/PESA) Petrochallenge. Nearly 400 students participated in the annual four-day competition, which challenges young people to become leaders in the oil and gas industries through a simulation-based training tool called OilSim.
Students from different schools in Houston and Fort Worth not only predicted and acquired valuable blocks for oil and gas production, they were tasked with making deals among the different teams to test their business acumen. In the process, students learn about the methods used in the real world of oil and gas, the terminology used, and maybe even a new career option.
“I’ve learned about water depth and geometrics and all this stuff I didn’t know about going in,” said Westside High School student Jason Levine.
When all was said and done, three teams of students from Milby and Westside high schools, as well as the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy (YWCPA), took home the top prizes. Each winning team received a monetary prize, but students say they gained so much more.
“I knew I wanted to be a petroleum engineer,” said YWCPA student and second-place team member Alyssa Dorelus. But coming here just reaffirmed what I already knew.”
The Petrochallenge is sponsored by Schlumberger, NExT, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, and IPAA/PESA.
Updates will be provided on design plans and project status for each campus
Community meetings have been scheduled during the first quarter for the following seven bond schools, to inform stakeholders of project plans to rebuild or renovate their campus as part of HISD’s $1.89 billion bond program. Attendees will hear from project architects and other team members and will have the opportunity to ask questions.
This all-girls secondary school is slated to receive a $27.1 million makeover that will preserve its historic past while creating modern learning spaces to help prepare students for college and careers.
The design includes adding a circular drive to the front of the building with a covered pick-up/drop-off area. The administrative offices, now on the second floor, will be relocated near the building’s main entrance, where a secure vestibule will be added. Much of the interior renovation will focus on modernizing the classroom spaces into larger learning centers with better natural light, integrated technology and flexible furniture. An addition is slated to be built adjacent to the current auditorium, and will feature an atrium and flexible spaces to create a college-like, collaborative atmosphere for the students.
The school held its first community meeting in August of 2015 and a second one will be held in early 2016 to discuss the design development. The goal is to have the project bid so construction can start by the end of 2016.