Construction at new DeBakey HS quickly moving along

The Texas Medical Center will soon welcome its newest neighbor as construction on the new DeBakey High School for Health Professions moves forward at a steady pace.

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Part of the voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, DeBakey will receive a 198,000-square-foot, five-story facility located on the western side of the Medical Center complex.

The $64.5 million building will accommodate 900 to 1,000 students and feature state-of-the-art medical training equipment with teaching labs for dentistry, rehabilitation, and patient care. Mock hospital rooms and science labs intended to mimic real-world research labs also will be included in the new facility.

“Since January, we’ve completed pouring all of the floors and the exterior framing of the building,” said HISD Project Manager Steven Gee. “The next big milestone will be drying out the building, meaning we won’t have to worry about outside elements effecting the structure, such as weather. It’s also known as closing out the building.”

With steel framing now complete, mechanical and electrical system installation and water proofing are ongoing, as is interior framing. Glass installation will follow in the coming months, said Gee, who noted that the project is on schedule.

Plans for the new school include a dining commons area with natural lighting, administrative offices, and a multipurpose space and college center with movable furniture on the first floor. The second, third and fourth floors will include classrooms, a library, and flexible learning neighborhoods that will house health science, dental, medical engineering and patient care labs.

The top level of the facility will house the school’s gymnasium, along with a fitness area, black box theater, art room, and music room to be used in conjunction with the Texas Medical Center Orchestra. Architects also created green outdoor space on the top floor of the building and a terrace on each level to make up for limited ground space at the new site.

The new campus is scheduled to open for students in August 2017.