HISD hosts ‘Building the Future’ as it kicks off 2012 bond program

 The Houston Independent School District on Friday will host “Building the Future,” a half-day workshop on designing 21st-century schools, as the district kicks off its bond program to repair, build or replace 40 schools across the city

 “School officials, parents and community members will have a chance to share their thoughts on how to create innovative educational environments,” said Sue Robertson, general manager, facilities planning for HISD.

 The interactive event, expected to draw about 250 participants,, will feature Dr. Peter Bishop, director of the Futures Studies program at the University of Houston. Bishop will use his expertise in long-term forecasting to help those in attendance envision the future and plan learning environments that will help students become successful global citizens.

The symposium comes just a week after the district announced the construction timeline for schools in the bond program. All geographic areas of the district will see construction from the start of the program.  Seventeen of the 40 schools are included in the first phase of projects, all of which are planned for groundbreakings by the end of 2014.

The district will be selecting architects and engineers early next year.   This event was organized so participants can begin the dialogue about the connections between potential educational models and the buildings that will be planned and designed to support learning.

 “The district understands how essential it is to consider the needs of students and the community during this bond implementation phase,” Robertson said. “This is a great way to start the conversation about HISD’s future.”

HISD’s Officer of Construction and Facility Services Robert Sands said the goal is to build schools that will enhance the education of generations of students and become assets to their communities. Friday’s symposium, he said, is a step toward fulfilling that vision.

 “Houston students deserve to have world-class buildings that help prepare them for a successful future,” he said.

The event will be held at the Kingdom Builders Center on West Orem Drive from 8:15 a.m. to noon.