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More than 125 students, parents and alumni of Kashmere High School turned out Tuesday evening for the first of three bond community meetings that will be held to update stakeholders on plans to renovate the campus. The meeting was held in conjunction with the school’s open house.
Under HISD’s bond program, $17 million was awarded for the Kashmere project, which will include site improvements and renovations to the existing facility. At this week’s meeting, attendees heard from Project Advisory Team members, including the principal, the project architect, and a community representative.
“I’m very pleased with the designs,” said Kashmere Principal Nancy Blackwell. “When you improve the aesthetics and bring in more natural light, the students will feel better, more valued. This is all to make a better experience for students.”
The renovation will include enclosing the center courtyard to create a large indoor flexible space with plenty of natural light which can be used year-round for both large and small group meetings. The design merges the four main campus buildings into one, and will also feature a updated front entrance with a close-in parking and student drop off area.
The PAT, made up of parents, teachers, community members and professional staff, has been working on the project since last fall, meeting monthly to discuss and refine design plans and priorities.
“It was important to us for the renovations to be flexible and adaptable, to be welcoming to the community and incorporate safety and security,” said Ken Williams, community representative on the PAT. “I’m excited about the design and I think this will be a positive and a value-add project for this community.”
Construction on the project is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2016 and take about 9 to 12 months to complete.
“I love the plans, the modern feel with natural light,” said HISD Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones, who represents the school. “It will bring a new vitality to the community, and also improve the morale of the kids.”