Videos highlight progress in designing new HSPVA, Washington High School

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HISD released two videos Thursday that showcase the progress in the planning and design of Booker T. Washington High School and The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Both schools are being rebuilt under the district’s 2012 $1.89 billion bond program.

The videos highlight community feedback on the projects and the work being done by the schools’ architects and Project Advisory Teams, which include students, faculty and parents.

In the Washington video, preliminary drawings show the school’s design, including engineering elements to highlight the school’s program in that field of study. The school is being designed to include student common areas and flexible learning spaces that can be used more effectively. 

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“The building will represent who we are, what we’re becoming,” said Washington Principal LaShonda Bilbo-Ervin. “I believe it will be a cornerstone in our neighborhood for our community to be proud … hopefully to be a flagship high school in the City of Houston.”

The HSPVA video shows design drafts of the new school as a transparent, five-story building in downtown Houston near the city’s renowned arts and theater district. The school will offer students more performance spaces, including a theater auditorium, black box, and dance studios with storage space for instruments and other performance equipment.

“We have to put aside what we want and what we need as the current people in that building and think 50 years from now who’s going to live there and who’s going to be making art,” said HSPVA Principal Scott Allen. “Are we building a facility that will help that to be as successful as we are today?”

Students, along with their fellow Project Advisory Team members at 24 schools, have spent hundreds of hours over the last few months collaborating in meetings and workshops to help guide the design direction for these projects. The new schools will be sustainable 21st century learning environments with the flexibility and infrastructure to support various types of learning and technology.

The new videos are part of ongoing effort by the district to document the work being done at each bond campus. More videos will be released in the coming weeks, and features on each school’s homepage, as well as the district’s bond website and on HISDTV.