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A demolition crew is hard at work at Milby High School to complete the next phase for a new 21st century campus: bringing down the old building.
The demolition of the school is more complicated than just tearing down the structure. Workers have been on site at the school for months working on asbestos abatement and selective internal demolition, one section of the building at a time.
“The building is divided into three sections for the demo,” said Derrick Sanders, HISD’s general manager of construction. “When the asbestos is removed from one section, the abatement crew moves to the next section, and the demo crew steps in and brings down the building.”
The demolition, including the asbestos abatement, is expected to be completed by late fall 2014, and the construction portion of the project will commence in the first quarter of 2015.
“We’re making significant progress in building 21st century schools to serve thousands of students,” said Leo Bobadilla, HISD’s chief operating officer. “It’s rewarding to see the hard work and preparations underway on the ground at Milby and to know that those students are one step closer to a state-of-the-art facility.”
Milby High School principal Roy de la Garza has played an important role in the planning and design process and said he was sentimental about the demolition of the school. “It’s actually a little sad to see our building being torn down,” de la Garza said. “But it’s exciting at the same time. Our students deserve the best, and they are going to have the best – a modern campus designed specifically for them.”
While the construction is ongoing, students from Milby are attending classes at other locations, with ninth-graders at Attucks Middle School and 10th– through 12th-graders at Jones Futures Academy. “We are making it work, and I know the sacrifice now will be well worth it in the long run,” de la Garza said.
Milby is among 40 HISD schools being renovated or rebuilt with funds from the $1.89 billion bond program. After the demolition is complete, work crews will tackle some additional asbestos abatement issues in the portion of the building that is being retained, which is expected to take several months.
The redesigned campus, which will accommodate 1,800-2,000 students, is expected to take at least two years to build. It will be equipped with modern facilities for the school’s manufacturing and engineering programs, including learning spaces for science and engineering labs, welding, performing and visual arts, culinary arts with a student-run café, and a print shop in the career technical education area.