Ribbon-cutting ceremony at North Houston Early College HS marks opening of new building

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North Houston Early College High School held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday to celebrate the opening of their new building, located on the Houston Community College Northeast campus.

“We’re extremely proud of our beautiful, new, state-of-the-art facility,” NHECHS Principal Angela Lundy-Jackson said. “It took so much to get to this point, and I’m so appreciative to everyone who worked tirelessly to make our vision a reality.”

The school is one of five early college high schools across the district that offer students the chance to take college courses and graduate with an associate’s degree as well as a high school diploma. Through a partnership with HCC, students in the program enroll in college classes tuition-free.

“North Houston Early College High School has set the standard. They were in temp buildings for eight years, but still managed to achieve superb academic results,” said Esther Omogbehin, HISD chief school officer. “The new facility is absolutely beautiful. Its location is strategic, as the students just walk across the lawn to take college classes.”

Since opening eight years ago, NHECHS has operated out of portable buildings. Through HISD’s current bond program, the Blue Ribbon Award-winning school received a $13.5 million, three-story facility that features modern classrooms and science labs with updated technology, and plenty of flexible learning spaces — all with a collegiate feel.

“It’s amazing,” said NHECHS senior and National Honor Society member Nikunj Desai. “After going to school in basically a trailer park for three years, this is definitely a few steps up. It’s great.”

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NHECHS is among 40 schools across the district being renovated or rebuilt as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. Construction is currently underway at nearly two-dozen campuses — more than at any other time in district history. Once all work is complete, HISD will boast of one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the nation.

During the ceremony, Congressman Gene Green presented the school with a U.S. flag that had flown over the Capitol Building. Also on hand to mark the occasion were Houston City Council Member Karla Cisneros, HCC Northeast President Margaret Ford Fisher, and HCC Trustees Zeph Capo, Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, and Eva Loredo, as well as students, alumni, staff and community members.

Following the ceremony, attendees were invited to tour the school.

“It’s a lovely campus, truly one of the gems in HISD,” said Trustee Anna Eastman, who represents the school. “I’m grateful for the leadership of Principal Lundy-Jackson and for Houston Community College for partnering with us. As a trustee, it makes me proud to see these schools opening up so the kids can benefit from them.”