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Pilgrim Academy held the second of three community meetings to inform stakeholders about plans to build a new addition for the school. About 50 students and parents attended the event, heard a presentation from the project architect, and had the opportunity to ask questions.
“I’m very pleased with the turnout,” said Diana Castillo, principal of the K-8 school. “It’s a beautiful design, and I’m excited about the new gym, all the natural light, and a longer parent drive.”
Pilgrim Academy was built in 2007 as a new elementary school in the Galleria area and since has expanded to add a middle school program housed largely in temporary buildings. As part of the district’s $1.89 billion bond program, the school will receive a new $7.9 million addition to include classroom spaces, a science lab, a gymnasium, flexible collaborative learning areas, and teacher work spaces.
“We’re getting close to the start of construction now, hopefully later this year,” said Jim Teater, a community volunteer who serves on Pilgrim’s Project Advisory Team. “We’re still not getting all the space we would like, but it’s a huge improvement, not just for students but for the whole community.”
The school has been designed with the ability to accommodate community meetings and public events. Flexible spaces can be closed off from the rest of the school, and the soccer field will be available for use after school hours.
“It’s very good, awesome,” said Doaa Abdalftah, parent to a Pilgrim fifth-grader Hanin Abdalftah. “I like the bigger classrooms, the gymnasium and the green view.”
“I like the garden, the learning lab, and the gym,” Hanin added.
The new addition will replace most of the portable buildings now in use. When complete the school will accommodate up to 900 students.
Construction is expected to start in the fall of this year and has a target completion of third quarter 2017.