The HISD Board of Education held a workshop on Sept. 19 to receive progress updates on the district’s capital building programs, which are progressing within budget and on schedule.
As the Houston Independent School District moves forward with planning for the 2012 bond program to renovate, build or replace 40 schools, work is underway to finish all the projects in the 2007 bond program by the end of 2014.
As of Aug. 31, more than 86 percent of the approved work in the 2007 bond program was committed. Among the milestones are 22 new schools that are open and serving students, including Atherton and Dogan elementaries, which just opened for students this fall. Sherman Elementary is slated to open later this fall.
Although new schools are often the highlights of any bond program, the $805 million in funding approved by voters in 2007 included more than 180 expansion and renovation projects across the district. The overall goal of the 2007 bond program was to replace deteriorated and outdated school facilities, relieve overcrowding at various campuses, and renovate and repair aging facilities throughout the district to address safety concerns, accessibility requirements, and deferred maintenance issues.
Because so much of the 2007 bond program focused on elementary schools, HISD asked voters in 2012 to put bond dollars to work on the district’s high schools.
The $1.89 billion program, approved by an overwhelming majority in November, will rebuild or replace 40 schools across the city, including 29 high schools. Many of the high schools are more than 50 years old and cost-prohibitive to maintain.
As of September 2013, architect contracts have been awarded for 29 projects, including middle school restroom renovations, district athletic facility upgrades and 24 schools.
The goal of the 2012 bond program is to create facilities that support 21st century learning, with technologically up-to-date and environmentally sustainable campuses. Planning and design is underway at all of the campuses among the first schools to be rebuilt. At least two schools, North and South Early College high schools, will break ground this fall, and work is underway at Worthing and Waltrip high schools. The construction start date for the remainder of the schools in Group 1 is mid- to late 2014, with all schools scheduled for completion by the end of 2020.
All schools in the 2012 program will be designed using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles and guidelines.
For more information about both the 2007 and 2012 bond programs, please visit: www.houstonisd.org/bond. The website is updated on a near daily basis with the latest events and progress.