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Waltrip Ram pride was on display Thursday evening as students, parents and staff gathered at the school to pick up class schedules, visit with teachers and classmates, and hear about plans for the construction of Waltrip High School’s new addition.
The entire Waltrip community was invited to the third in a series of three meetings designed to update stakeholders on the status of the school’s upcoming construction project. Attendees had the opportunity to view renderings and site plans as well as chat with the architects, the project manager and general contractor.
As part of the 2012 bond package, Houston voters approved a partial building replacement and general renovations to accommodate 1,800 to 2,000 students. The remaining work to be completed as a part of the 2007 bond program has been incorporated into the plans for the 2012 bond program.
In the months since the bond passed, Waltrip’s PAT has been working with architects and HISD Facilities Planning and Design to create a 21st century facility that will service generations of students to come, while building on the school’s rich history and traditions.
Ashley Edwards, who will start as a freshman at Waltrip, was at the school on Thursday to get her schedule and visit her new high school. “It’s pretty,” she said of the renderings for the renovated building.
One specific change that caught the attention of several students is the plan to change out the old windows for new ones that are more attractive and energy-efficient. Students were also excited about the addition to the fine arts area, which will bring improved spaces for the band and color guard.
“It’s so cool it’s going to get remodeled,” said Odaliz Haro, 17, a senior and captain of the Waltrip Color Guard. “I think I’m going to have to come back and work here so I can enjoy all this.”
Erik Tuttle, a sophomore, said all the changes to the school will help Waltrip grow its enrollment and reputation as a great HISD high school. “I feel like it’s going to bring more people here,” he said.
Members of Waltrip’s Alumni Association and Project Advisory Team (PAT) were also on hand to answer questions and discuss the design process and their role in it.
Patty Newby, Treasurer of the Waltrip Alumni Association, was impressed by the fine arts emphasis as well as the sophistication of the design. “It has the look of an office building, but a pretty one,” Newby said.
PAT member Dr. John Enloe chatted with pride about the construction project and is excited for the students who will benefit from it. Enloe was the very first student on campus back when the school first opened in 1959.
“These students deserve the best education possible, and this new addition will bring new life back to Waltrip and make a world of difference for this community,” he said.