Construction on the new High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is well underway in downtown Houston, as workers have already excavated 25 feet into the Earth and hauled away roughly 55,000 cubic yards of dirt to make way for the building’s two-level, underground parking garage.
“When the weather was cooperating with us, we were running 40 trucks per day, averaging close to 400 loads per day out of the hole,” said Wesley Moncrief, senior project manager with McCarthy Building Companies, the construction manager at risk on the project. “Dirt removal will be finished in the next few weeks and then we’ll install two large tower cranes.”
Other activities happening this summer are installation of spread footings, the perimeter basement walls, and subsurface drainage. Barring any major impact to the schedule, Moncrief said he expects concrete to be poured for both levels of below-ground parking as well as the main ground floor of the building by the end of 2016.
The new 168,000-square-foot building, located between Caroline and Austin streets near the city’s renowned arts and theater district, will contain two levels of underground parking and rise five stories above ground. The building’s main entrance along Austin Street will feature dramatic double-high glass windows and a wide stairwell. Other features include an 800-seat main theater with a balcony, dance and music studios, a modern outdoor dining area on the first level, and an outdoor roof terrace located near the library.
HSPVA is among 40 schools being renovated or rebuilt as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. Construction is currently 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.
Construction on the new HSPVA began in March of this year and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018.