More than 300 people turned out to Lockhart Elementary on Thursday to formally dedicate the new building, which opened to students in Houston’s Third Ward last year.
The event drew students and families, as well as a long list of Lockhart supporters, including HISD Trustee Paula M. Harris and the Rev. William Lawson, pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church.
“If you live in this area, you don’t have to catch a bus at 5 a.m. to get a quality education,” said Harris, as she congratulated the community for getting together to push for a new facility to support Lockhart’s track record of academic success.
The $18.2 million school, funded under the 2007 bond program, was designed by Harrison Kornberg Architects and built by Turner Construction. The 85,960-square-foot facility features natural lighting, a courtyard science garden and integrated technology in all the classrooms. The school has applied for LEED certification in recognition of sustainable building practices.[photoshelter-gallery g_id=’G00007BhnFJThrbE’ g_name=’20130822-LockhartDedication’ width=’600′ f_fullscreen=’t’ bgtrans=’t’ pho_credit=’iptc’ twoup=’f’ f_bbar=’t’ f_bbarbig=’f’ fsvis=’f’ f_show_caption=’t’ crop=’f’ f_enable_embed_btn=’t’ f_htmllinks=’t’ f_l=’t’ f_send_to_friend_btn=’f’ f_show_slidenum=’t’ f_topbar=’f’ f_show_watermark=’t’ img_title=’casc’ linkdest=’c’ trans=’xfade’ target=’_self’ tbs=’5000′ f_link=’t’ f_smooth=’f’ f_mtrx=’t’ f_ap=’t’ f_up=’f’ height=’400′ btype=’old’ bcolor=’#CCCCCC’ ]
As noted by HISD’s Chief School Officer Karla Loria, Lockhart Elementary met the state’s standard and earned a distinction for reading and math after making significant progress on state exams from the year before.
“The facility now matches the rigorous learning happening at Lockhart, and as we go forward we know this school is positioned for success,” she said.
The 90-minute dedication included the posting of the colors by Jack Yates High School ROTC, a teacher performance of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” and a dance routine by the Lockhart Steppers. The Collins sisters, Victoria, Alexandria and Christina, also presented a vocal ensemble. Principal Felicia Adams led the ceremony.
“The building here is wonderful with the bright colors and the shining floors,” said Anthony Chase, who attended both Lockhart and Turner elementaries and is now president of ChaseSource, a Houston-based staffing firm. “But what really makes this school great is the attitude of the teachers, students and administrators.”
The Rev. Lawson echoed those comments, noting a long list of notable students and alumni who are making a difference. He urged the audience to commit not just to getting students ready for the sixth grade, but to creating future leaders.
Victoria Jackson, a fifth-grader who volunteered at the school Thursday to help hold the door and hand out programs, is part of the school’s cheer team and was wearing the orange and blue uniform to show her Lockhart pride.
“I like the playground, the cafeteria and the colors,” she said, before quickly adding one more important feature at Lockhart: “All the teachers.”