YWCPA construction on the fast track

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Construction is advancing at the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy with work on the renovations and new addition for the all-girl STEM school nearly halfway complete.

Work is progressing nicely — steel erection is complete, the metal decking has been covered with concrete, and the brick installation will begin in the next couple of weeks.

YWCPA Principal Delesa O’Dell-Thomas said she is ecstatic to see progress being made, and noted she was especially excited to see the new paint colors and select new furniture for the school.

“I would like to thank the Houston community for making us a part of the bond,” O’Dell-Thomas said. “It’s good to know we’ll be in a place where things will be operable.”

YWCPA is being rebuilt as part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program. The original three-story, stately brick building, erected in 1925, is a historic presence in Houston’s Third Ward and is among HISD’s oldest school buildings. The $27.1 million project will preserve historically significant features of the building, while increasing learning spaces throughout and adding modern science and technology labs.

More information on the YWCPA project

“It’s been a fun project to design,” said architect Carolina Weitzman of Natex Architects. “We’ve added space and function, while preserving the historical façade.”

The addition is being built adjacent to the current auditorium, and will be connected to the existing building by a student-union-style atrium. A circular drive will be added to the front of the building with a covered pick-up and drop-off area that also will incorporate visitor parking. The administrative offices, currently on the second floor, will be relocated near the building’s main entrance, where a secure entrance vestibule will be added.

Construction on YWCPA is expected to be completed in third quarter 2018.

Through HISD’s voter-approved Bond Program, 40 schools, including 29 high schools, are being rebuilt or renovated across the district. Active construction is currently underway on roughly three dozen projects — more activity than at any other time in district history. Once all work is complete, the district will boast of one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the country.