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About 75 parents and community members had “Coffee with the Principal” on Friday morning at Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center, where they were entertained by the schools talented mariachi band before being updated on the progress of their new school.
The school is being built as part of HISD’s 2012 bond program. Representatives from Satterfield and Pontikes, the construction management firm on the project, made a brief presentation before taking questions from the crowd.
“Things are starting to happen around here, things that we can actually see,” said Principal Alan Summers. “Every Tuesday we meet with the project team and get updates. All the people working on the new school really care about Sam Houston, and I appreciate everything they are doing.”
When Phases I and II are complete, Houston MSTC will have a $101.4 million building that will accommodate up to 2,700 students. In addition to providing a comprehensive high school curriculum that emphasizes math, science, and technology, the new school will offer at least eight licensing programs and vocational certification in a variety of trades, including auto mechanics, plumbing, and cosmetology.
“The next thing we will be doing is removing the football field, track, and other fields so that we can lay the foundation,” said Satterfield and Pontikes Vice President John Marshall. “Phase I is completing the new school, which we plan to have ready for the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. Phase II is the demolition of the old building to make way for a parking lot and the new athletic fields, work that is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2020.”
“Our number one concern is site safety and the safety of your children,” Clyde Pershall of Satterfield and Pontikes told attendees. “It’s like remodeling your home while you are living in it. In my 32 years of construction, this is the most complex job I have done to date.” Pershall confided in the crowd that he has a personal interest in the outcome of the project because his father graduated from Sam Houston High School.
Principal Summers next informed parents about changing the class schedule from block scheduling to seven classes daily, which will allow them to offer additional electives, including full-time journalism and more languages.
“And we have plans for our students with disabilities to be throughout the new building and not in one small part, because those students need to be with their social peers,” he said. “The new building will be totally accessible.”
Read more about the Sam Houston MTSC bond project.