Driving along Mesa Road in the North Forest neighborhood in HISD, steel columns can be seen rising from the sites of North Forest High School and North Forest Early Childhood Center, as both projects have begun vertical construction and are proceeding on schedule.
North Forest High School will have a new campus, located across the street from the existing facility. The new $59.5 million building, funded by state monies, will accommodate 1,300 to 1,500 students and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2017.
“We’re seeing progress every week, and it’s exciting,” said North Forest HS Principal Richard Fernandez. “This time next year, we’ll be making plans to move in.”
The new 21st century high school will feature plenty of windows with open views to the prairie in front of the building and the forest in back. It will also include flexible learning spaces, a modern dining commons, and CTE (career and technical education) spaces. The school will also contain an indoor running track – a first of its kind in HISD.
The new $23 million North Forest Early Childhood Center on Seneca Street, currently known as Fonwood Early Childhood Center, is scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2016. The goal of this new campus is to foster the skills that young children need for a successful start in elementary school. The pre-K and kindergarten school plans to open to students to begin the 2016-2017 school year in the new building.
“I can’t wait to welcome students to our new school next August,” said Dr. Kimberly Agnew Borders, principal of the early childhood center. “We hope to see all of the planning and behind the scenes work pay off.”
The facility, also funded with state monies, will feature 27 classrooms including two special education centers, along with specialized visual arts and science labs, to accommodate up to 600 students. The school will incorporate vibrant interior colors with plenty of natural light, and will feature three outdoor play areas and an outdoor learning center.