Summer break was no vacation for HISD’s bond project team, as schools in the district’s $1.89 billion program made significant headway, with more construction activity in progress than at any other time in the district’s history.
“We’ve been very busy during the summer months, so I think many students will see some changes when they start back to school this year,” said Derrick Sanders, HISD general manager of construction. “As construction goes vertical, the work becomes much more visible, and it’s exciting to see daily progress.”
Several projects began vertical construction over the summer months, including: South Houston Early College HS, North Houston Early College HS, and Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School.
Safety is top priority at every project site, especially at locations where students remain on campus during construction. All workers are badged and have no contact with students or staff. Every effort is made to minimize disruption to school activities.
Additional project highlights that took place over the summer are:
Condit Elementary School – The site was cleared and fenced earlier this year. Drilled piers are complete and installation of the concrete pad has begun. Installation of grade beam and underground utilities is ongoing. The project will go vertical in late August with the beginning of steel beam installation. The project is on schedule and expected to be open for the start of the 2016-2017 school year.
Grady Middle School – Installation of structural steel is complete as are the 1st and 2nd floor slabs and the roof decking. Exterior masonry and roofing are getting underway. The project is on schedule and expected to be ready for students to occupy in January 2016.
Parker Elementary School – The site has been cleared, including demolition and removal of T-buildings, and the construction area has been fenced. Two classrooms have been removed from the end of the classroom wing, and the remainder of that hallway will be ready for use by the beginning of this school year. A covered pedestrian walkway has been installed adjacent to the construction fence. The project is in the construction documents phase and construction is expected to get underway in the first quarter of 2016, taking about 18 months to complete.
Waltrip High School – Installation of a new curtainwall system and windows will be completed by the end of August. Upgrades of athletics offices and locker rooms are ongoing and should be completed by mid-October. Replacement of the fire alarm, HVAC and electrical systems are ongoing; as each area is complete and operable it is turned over to campus personnel for use.
Worthing High School – Construction is nearing the final stages on the new 2-story classroom wing. Ongoing work includes installation of exterior brick, interior wall studs, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. Work on the classroom wing is expected to last through the end of this year, with move in during the first quarter of 2016. Once this portion is completed, the next phase will replace much of the remaining building including new gymnasiums, new dining commons, library and administrative offices.
Under the current bond program, approved by Houston voters in 2012, HISD is rebuilding or renovating 40 schools in the district including 29 high schools. The program also includes work that will benefit students across the district, including $100 million in technology upgrades, $44.7 million to replace regional fieldhouses and improve athletics facilities, $35 million to renovate middle school restrooms, and $17.3 million for safety and security improvements.