HSPVA gets go-ahead to proceed on new building

Bond community meeting at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, October 14, 2014. (Dave Einsel / Houston ISD)

The new HSPVA will be located downtown near Houston’s renowned Theater District.

The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts’ new building project received a long-awaited Notice to Proceed from HISD last week, which gives the construction manager at risk (CMAR) the needed go-ahead to mobilize on the site and starts the clock ticking on the 31-month construction timeline.

This is music to the ears of HSPVA stakeholders, as the project has been delayed for about a year while the project team worked through a variety of issues to bring the project within its allotted budget.

“HSPVA is a magical school, and we are excited that we’ve finally gotten the details hammered out to enable us to move forward,” said Scott Allen, principal of the fine arts magnet school. “Although the school isn’t getting everything on our wish list, we’re thrilled with the design and the creative environment Gensler has created for our young artists.”

Designed by architecture firm Gensler, the new 168,000-square-foot building will be located in downtown Houston between Caroline and Austin streets near the city’s renowned arts and theater district. The building’s main entrance will be on Austin and feature dramatic double-high glass windows and a wide stairwell.

The facility will also include an 800-seat main theatre with a balcony, dance and music studios, and art galleries. The building will rise five stories above ground and contain two levels of underground parking, a modern outdoor dining area on the first level, and outdoor roof terrace located near the library.

More information on the HSPVA project

Construction on the new $80 million project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018.

HSPVA is one of 40 schools being rebuilt or renovated as part of HISD’s $1.89 billion bond program. 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.