The collaborative efforts of the Grady Middle School community, along with those who designed and built the new facility, were all praised Monday morning at an official dedication ceremony for the school’s newest addition.
Light from the mid-morning sun served as the backdrop for the ceremony that included performances from the Grady band and theater groups. Working together as the students did was also how community members worked with HISD and school staff, as well as the building’s architects and designers, said HISD Board of Education member Harvin Moore.
“It’s really very, very important that decisions be made that involve the people that are really going to live with it,” Moore said. “The parents, the neighbors and the faculty and teachers. They know about educational needs and the academic design of a great school.”
Grady’s new building includes a library, cafetorium, gymnasium, music room and new administration offices. In total, the building cost about $13.7 million, paid for with funds from the 2007 bond program.
Students aren’t the only ones who get to enjoy the new school, though, said Grady principal Gretchen Kasper-Hoffman.
“People love it. They’re so excited to see this on the corner. They enjoy driving by and seeing such a lovely building and knowing that the kids are learning,” she said. “It wasn’t horrible before, but now, it’s just something that sticks out and the community can be proud that this is our middle school.”
The school, located at 5215 San Felipe Street on the city’s near West side, now has some facilities that are either on par or best those of nearby private schools, said Moore, who specifically cited the quality of Grady’s new music room.
Moore also reminded those in attendance that the new addition was only the first phase of construction planned for Grady, noting the second phase of the plan was among those projects listed in the 2012 bond program.
In the proposed plan, Grady would receive $14.8 million to complete renovations around the school and replace 23 temporary buildings currently being used for classroom instruction. The project is among 38 total projects in the $1.89 billion proposed bond program, scheduled to go before the voters in November.