Construction on HISD’s new DeBakey High School for Health Professions is well underway, and the new location in Houston’s world-class Texas Medical Center is expected to forge even closer bonds with the medical community.
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As part of HISD’s bond program, DeBakey High School for Health Professions will receive a new five-story building, which will be located on the western side of the Medical Center complex on land donated by the Medical Center.
“The location is prime,” said Renee Zuelke, HISD’s director of career and technical education. “The design will replicate as much as possible what you would see in a college setting or in the field.”
The 198,000-square-foot building will feature state-of-the-art medical training equipment with teaching labs for dental, rehabilitation, and patient care, including mock hospital rooms and science labs designed to mimic real-world research labs.
“Right now we’re near the med center but we’re on the outskirts. We bus our students over on school buses,” said DeBakey Principal Agnes Perry. “Our new location puts us in the Med Center, in easy walking distance, or students can take the free Med Center shuttle to hospitals. Plus, it works both ways, it will be more convenient for physicians and other medical professionals to visit the school, too.”
Founded in 1972 in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine, DeBakey HSHP was the first health-focused high school in the nation, and it continues to serve as a model for school districts and medical centers across the country. Through its rigorous college preparatory curriculum and hands-on practical health field experience, the school offers students interested in science and health careers an alternative to the traditional high school experience.
“Our new simulation labs will enable us to program a mannequin and the students will diagnose the illness based on symptoms,” Perry said. “This kind of technology is usually seen only in a medical college or advanced allied health program.”
Named for world renowned heart surgeon Michael E. DeBakey, the award-winning school enjoys strong support from doctors and medical professionals throughout the TMC, including a number of prominent DeBakey alumni who have gone on to successful medical careers.
Other design highlights of the new building include:
- Teleconference room, college and career center and administrative offices on the first floor
- Flexible learning centers, science labs, and mock learning labs on floors 2 through 4
- Gymnasium, fitness center, dinning commons, and terrace on the fifth floor
Construction of the new building is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter 2016, with a target opening for students in January of 2017.