Stakeholders for the Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School gathered Saturday at the school’s new site in the Galleria area to break ground on a new 21st century building. The $32 million campus is being built as part of the HISD’s 2012 bond program.
“We’re very excited because our kids will be able to utilize the 21st century technology to enrich their learning,” said MCLIMS Principal Chaolin Chang.
The new 118,000-square-foot building was designed around a sun and moon concept with brightly colored learning spaces and academic areas located in the sun wing, which represents energy. The community spaces will be aligned in the moon wing, which is more subtle and symbolizes reflection.
The school will also feature an atrium to allow natural light to flow throughout the campus as well as a media center where students can work cooperatively and individually. The new location at West Alabama and MCulloch Circle, next door to the School at St. George Place, allows for the two campuses to share sports fields and green space.
“The layout and proximity of the two schools allows for a natural synergy,” said District 7 Trustee Harvin Moore. “I think everyone is going to be delighted at the really unique master plan for this unique pair of schools.”
In the fall of 2012, MCLIMS became the first in HISD to offer full-immersion Mandarin Chinese instruction for pre-kindergarten through second grade. The school will be adding additional grades each year to eventually become a K-8 campus with the goal to create bilingual students who are college and career-ready.
“Every parent and every child is excited about this brand new school,” said Fernando Ziglar, parent of two daughters at the school. “Being in the energy business, I notice that Mandarin is one of those languages that is very important for my children to learn.”
Construction on the new school is scheduled to begin within the next few weeks and is expected to take about 20 months.