Renovations, construction underway at HISD high schools

A recent swimming pool renovation at Waltrip High School features lane ropes, starting blocks and a new timer system, making the pool competition ready.

The work is the latest visible milestone for the Oak Forest high school, which is moving forward on commitments made in both the 2007 and 2012 bond programs. In the southern part of the city, work is also getting underway on a new building addition at Worthing High School.

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“Our students won’t have to go to another school for swim practice and swim meets because they have their own pool now and will be able to stay on campus,” said Waltrip Principal Andria Schur, who expects to see an increase in the number of students in the school’s swim program.

AECOM, an architecture, design and construction firm, worked closely with the school’s swim coach to complete the pool renovations. The pool was thoroughly cleaned, including its existing tile, and the pool deck was replaced. The pool’s ceiling structure and walls were also repaired and repainted.

Construction is also underway at North Houston Early College High School and South Early College High School. Those schools also received funding in the 2007 bond program that is being integrated into the scope of work for the 2012 bond program.

Within the 2012 bond, Schur said there are plans to add glass windows around the Waltrip pool, so people can watch swim meets going on from outside the building. “This pool will not just be a major part of our athletics but our community, too,” Schur added.

At Worthing, construction workers are inspecting the site where a new two-story building will be added to the campus.

“We have excavated the building pad completely and have located all the existing piers,” said project manager James Beal of the Kwame Building Group, the program manager for the project.

The 88,740-square-foot building addition at Worthing will house academics, performance arts, athletics and other departments. The project is being designed by Molina Walker Architects, and the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) contract was awarded to B3Ci, a joint venture comprised of Balfour Beatty Construction and 3Ci, a minority- and woman-owned construction firm.

B3Ci is currently focusing on confirming the location of foundation piers, repairing existing piers and preparing the backfill pad to go under a slab-on-grade foundation. Crews have also rerouted existing utilities under the building pad.

“We will then drill and correct piers, pour grade beams and install new under slab utilities,” Beal said. “At that point, we pour the slab-on-grade and erect steel.”

For North Houston Early, the school will receive a new 56,000-square-foot building designed by RdlR Architects. The building will be located on the Northline campus of Houston Community College.

Sanitary sewer and main water lines have been completed. The water meter application is currently being reviewed by the City of Houston. The vault meter and replacement of landscaping is scheduled to start the second quarter of 2014.

“The same landscaping that was removed during the installation of the underground utilities are being replaced,” said Kwame project manager Morris Bennett.

Design for the project is scheduled to be complete in the third quarter of 2014. Afterward, the construction package will open for bids.

At South Early College High School, installation of the vault meter and sanitary sewer lines are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2014. The 56,000-square-foot building located on the Houston Community College South campus will be designed by Smith & Co. Architects.

CMAR services for both South Early and North Houston will be provided by Drymalla Construction Company. Construction bid packages for South Early are scheduled for release at the beginning of the third quarter of 2014.

“After the completion of the utilities to the site, the next step is to begin mobilization on the school building site, along with the removal of approximately 13 feet of dirt from the site,” said Kwame project manager Amanda Goodie.

Each bond project construction site has security features in place including surveillance cameras, fences and a badge check-in where all workers are required to scan their badge before entering the site.