Scarborough HS community gathers to celebrate the start of construction

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Standing before a packed auditorium, Scarborough High School Principal Diego Linares thanked the school community for passing the district’s 2012 Bond Program — a move that he said began the renewal of the 50-year-old campus.

The school is making great progress, Linares said, noting that students are meeting state standards and the campus boasts of having the most Futures Academy graduates in HISD. The renovation work underway will simply serve to strengthen and complement the campus.

“We are the school that builds upon the strengths of its students, rather than focus on their deficits. We are a school that views failure as a temporary rather than permanent state,” Linares said. “Now, we can say we’re the school that’s on the verge of providing the most functional building to meet the student’s needs.”

Scarborough is receiving a $12.6 million face-lift, which includes major upgrades to the building and site improvements. Plans call for  improvements to athletics fields, a tennis court, and a new secure main entry and central office area that will serve as the focal point for the front of the campus.

A new 13,000-square-foot JROTC building also is being built to accommodate the school’s growing JROTC program. Currently, 250 Scarborough students — about one-third of the student population — participate in the program.

“This is a beautiful space, a historic space and it’s kept up,” said District I Trustee Anna Eastman. “Now that the school is going to get a $13 million face-lift and add-on, it’s really exciting to know that we’re respecting the school that’s here.”

Students, staff and other school supporters packed into the auditorium on Wednesday afternoon, eager to celebrate the start of construction and renovation work on their campus. Performances by the Scarborough High School Legion of Doom Marching Band and Showstoppers Dance Team kicked off the groundbreaking festivities.

“I am excited that you are going to receive an addition so that your outside of the building is just as beautiful as what’s going on inside,“ HISD Chief School Officer Steven Gutierrez told the crowd. “Students, I encourage you every single day to do your best so you can make us all proud.”

In addition to Eastman and Gutierrez, several other dignitaries attended the groundbreaking ceremony, including a representative from the office of Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, as well as representatives from Randall-Porterfield Architects Inc., DT Construction, URS program management, and HISD Construction Services.

Members of the Scarborough Project Advisory Team were also in attendance, as were students, parents and community members.

“Today we are all very excited about expanding and remodeling our school and watching it become bigger and even better,” said Scarborough Senior Arturo Bazan. “Even though I’m sad that I won’t be able to experience the new building, I am so proud that we are making a change for the future generations, and they will be able to enjoy the new building.”

As anticipation builds, one Scarborough freshman could hardly contain her excitement as she gushed about the new music building.

“The band is extremely excited, and I’m even more excited,” said Scarborough band member, Danyelle Lopez. “I can’t believe that we’re getting a new band room after all these years.”

Scarborough is one of 40 schools across the district being renovated or rebuilt as part of the voter-approved 2012 Bond Project. Construction is underway at roughly three dozen campuses, which is more activity than any other time in district history.

Almost 50 percent of 2012 Bond projects will be complete and open to students by the end of this summer. Once all work is complete, HISD will boast of one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the nation.

Scarborough High School construction is expected to be complete during the third quarter of 2017.