High School for Law and Justice project moves into next phase of construction

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Construction crews are beginning to mobilize at the site of the new High School for Law and Justice after receiving a “notice to proceed” from HISD earlier this month.

The notice followed the completion of comprehensive site demolition work and starts the clock ticking on an approximate 17-month construction timeline.

“The planning and preparation takes much longer than the actual construction,” said Spencer Wingate, HISD’s project manager overseeing HSLJ’s new construction. “Everything’s looking good at this point, and we’re on track to meet our target completion date in December 2017.” 

The new $40 million campus, which is funded with a combination of bond funds and real estate proceeds, will be centrally located just outside of downtown Houston, on Scott Street between Pease and Coyle streets. The building’s close proximity to the Houston Police Department South Central Station will serve as a resource to students in the magnet school’s criminal justice program. The school is also located near University of Houston and Texas Southern University, with easy access to the freeway, rail, and bike trails.

“It’s exciting! We’re really looking forward to a wonderful new school,” said HSLJ Principal Carol Mosteit, who is planning a groundbreaking ceremony in October. “This is a unique program, and our new building is specifically designed to enhance our criminal justice curriculum.”

The three-story, 115,000-square-feet building will feature a realistic courtroom, crime scene investigations lab, emergency communications center, and law library. The building also will include spaces for ROTC, athletics, fine arts and other traditional high school spaces.

HSLJ 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’s portfolio of urban high schools will be among the most modern in the nation.