Tanglewood Middle School community members on Monday evening marked two significant milestones in the history of the Galleria-area school: the dedication of their new building addition, and the renaming of their campus from Grady to Tanglewood.
“We’re excited to have the entire building finished. We’ve been in T-buildings a really long time,” said Principal Gretchen Kaspar-Hoffman. “It has a collegiate feel to it. I think our kids stand a little taller and listen a little better in this environment.”
The $14.8 million addition, which opened to students in February, is the first project to be completed under the Houston Independent School District’s 2012 Bond Program. It expands student capacity at the school from 580 to 850, and completes the multi-phase master plan for the campus, which began with funds from the 2007 Bond Program. The new wing features 24 classrooms, six science labs, six learning commons, and three administrative suites.
“It’s a great example of a building designed for teaching and learning in the next century,” said Trustee Harvin Moore, who represents the school. “There are plenty of open flexible spaces, lots of natural light. All of the new schools we’re building will have these same features.”
Moore, who himself attended Grady when it was an elementary school, said he is happy with the school’s new name, and noted that the community was ready for a rebranding of the school.
“It’s a million dollar name, and a billion dollar view,” Moore said, noting the location of the school at the end of Tanglewood Boulevard. “You can see through from the front of the building to the back, with amazing views of the Galleria area.”
HISD Board of Education voted this year to change the names of eight schools so they would better reflect the values and diversity of the school district. Tanglewood was chosen as a replacement because of the school’s adjacent location to the Tanglewood neighborhood.
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As part of the renaming ceremony, the school received a proclamation from Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office declaring May 23, 2016, as Tanglewood Middle School Day in Houston. The school also was presented with a Texas flag flown over the State Capitol and an American flag flown over the United States Capitol.
“We’ve always had the support of the Tanglewood community, and I’m glad that community is now included in the name,” said PTO President Deanna Harrington, who served on the name-change committee. “It’s perfect timing with the opening of the new building.”
Tanglewood Middle is among 40 schools across the district being renovated or rebuilt as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. Construction is underway at nearly two-dozen campuses across the district, more active construction than at any other time in district history. Six schools are nearing completion and set to open for the 2016-2017 school year.