Pilgrim Academy K-8 has strong showing at first bond community meeting

A standing-room-only crowd filled the library at Pilgrim Academy for a bond community meeting this week to hear about plans for a new addition to the popular K-8 neighborhood school.

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“I’m pleased that so many parents came out to hear the presentation,” said Diana Castillo, principal of Pilgrim Academy. “I’ve heard only positive feedback. They’re excited about the new classroom space and about the new gym.”

Pilgrim Academy was built in 2007 as a new elementary school in the Galleria area and since has expanded to add a middle school program housed largely in temporary buildings. As part of the district’s $1.89 billion bond program, the school will receive a new $8.9 million addition to include classroom spaces, a science lab, flexible collaborative learning areas and teacher work spaces.

More information on the Pilgrim Academy project

I think it’s great that they’re making a bigger school,” said ninth-grader Daisy Aguirre, a former student at Pilgrim Academy. “Now the other kids who go here are going to have more space to learn and do more things. There will be more room for the middle school students.”

The new building project is expected to replace most of the temporary buildings now in use. The current design also includes plans to renovate the multi-purpose room to become a full-sized gymnasium that can accommodate a middle school athletics program.

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“We’re getting the gym we’ve always wanted with the big space for the community,” said Pilgrim parent Romeico Romero, who is also a member of the school’s Project Advisory Team. “The architects have been very accommodating in terms of answering our questions, addressing our needs and listening to what we think are the needs of the school.”

This was the first of three community meetings that will be held at various stages of the project. In the coming months the architects will continue working with the PAT — made up of parents, teachers, staff, and community members – to incorporate feedback from the community and add more detail to the designs.

“I’ve been coming to these things for a long time and this is easily the best turnout I’ve ever seen,” said HISD District 7 Trustee Harvin Moore, who represents Pilgrim Academy. “The community is very happy about the new school, you can see it in the smiles of the parents and students here tonight.”