DeBakey High School stakeholders and area dignitaries gathered Monday afternoon for a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the construction phase of the school’s new 21st century campus located in the Texas Medical Center.
“It’s a beautiful design, and the location could not be better,” said Dennis DeBakey, son of the school’s world renowned namesake, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey. “My father loved this school, it gave him great pleasure to visit and see the young students starting out. He would be very pleased with the new building and the tremendous opportunities that will benefit these students.”
The school enjoys the strong endorsement of many in the medical community, and this milestone event drew many prominent supporters, including Baylor College of Medicine CEO Dr. Paul Klotman, Texas Medical Center CEO Dr. Robert Robbins, retired Texas Medical Center CEO Dr. Richard Wainerdi, HISD District 4 Trustee Paula Harris, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, and U.S. Rep. Al Green.
“This is a big deal. Nothing like the Texas Medical Center exists anywhere in the world – and nothing like this high school exists. It is unprecedented anywhere in the world,” said Dr. Robbins. “Graduates of this school have a leg up – a real competitive advantage.”
“Academic rigor and expectation is so high at this school,” said Natalie Frederick, a 1998 DeBakey graduate. “For any student interested in a strong math and science foundation – this is the place to be.”
The new five-story $65 million school will be located on the sight of the old Hornberger Conference Center at 2151 West Holcombe, on the western edge of the Medical Center – land that was donated by the Medical Center. Designed to accommodate up to 1,000 students, the facility will house health science, dental, medical engineering and patient-care labs, in addition to learning centers, a library and flexible learning spaces.
“I think the team has come up with a great design that will provide a flexible, professional 21st century learning environment that will be a crown jewel not just for HISD, but for the Medical Center as well,” said Leo Bobadilla, HISD Chief Operating Officer.