Scarborough HS community learns more about progress of renovations

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Scarborough High School parents, staff, and community members on Wednesday evening heard an update on plans to renovate the nearly 50-year-old campus in northwest Houston – an effort the school hopes will attract neighborhood families.

Under HISD’s 2012 bond program, Scarborough is receiving $12.6 million for renovations and site improvements to the existing facility.

At this week’s meeting, nearly 20 attendees heard from the principal and the project architect about plans for the campus, including a new 13,000-square-foot JROTC building; classroom renovations and technology upgrades; improvements to athletics fields and a tennis court; and a new secure welcome center that will become the focal point at the front of the campus.

Scarborough Principal Diego Linares said the bond work at Scarborough will help attract students and boost achievement, noting that having improved spaces will positively impact student performance.

“This project is beautiful,” Linares said. “It’s going to enhance the school. Not only will it look better, it will be more functional.”

The school is in the second phase of the design process, with construction is set to begin in the fourth quarter this year and a target completion in the third quarter of next year. The Project Advisory Team has been meeting regularly to discuss plans and priorities. The team’s goal is to bring the campus into the modern era – both visually and to support academic programming at the school.

More information on the Scarborough HS project

The school offers industry certifications before graduation in retail management, HVAC maintenance/repair, or computer administration and networking. Students also can prepare for careers in the military through its army branch of the JROTC, a very popular program on the campus. About one-third of the current student population participates in JROTC.

Oscar Juarez, a 12-year resident of the neighborhood who lives on a street adjacent to the school, has sixth- and seventh-grade sons whom he is considering enrolling at Scarborough. As incoming freshmen, the two boys would be able to take advantage of the renovated school, he said. Juarez said the surrounding neighborhood, which is rapidly changing, could benefit from the improvements being made to the campus.

“All of the new houses (being built in the area) go hand-in-hand with the school getting better,” he said. “Any effort to upgrade is exciting.”

The school is adding programs with the outcome of the bond program in mind, including new band and theater options. The school’s auditorium will see renovations that enhance the seating, lighting and acoustics.

Assistant Principal Lee Mashburn said the goal is make Scarborough High School, which now has an enrollment of about 775 students, an attractive option for area kids.

“It’s our vision to be able to attract the neighborhood back to the school,” he said. “I’d like to see about 1,000 kids here.”