Construction is underway at Northside High School, where crews already have begun to demolish the old front entrance and gut and renovate the second floor library space.
By the end of the summer, work on the library — a portion of which will be transformed into new classrooms — as well as work on restrooms, common areas, and utilities throughout the building, will be complete, and new temporary buildings will be fully installed.
The new classrooms in the library space and in the portable buildings will be used to accommodate students while crews renovate the third floor and construct two new additions. The first floor will be the final area to be renovated, with the $66.4 million multi-phase project expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2018.
“As we finish one section, we’ll turn it over and take over another section,” Satterfield & Pontikes Project Superintendent Wayde Troxler said of the phased construction project. “Turn over, take another section. Turn over, take another section.”
Northside High School is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools, being renovated or rebuilt as part of the 2012 Bond Program. Plans call for two new additions that will feature modern spaces for science classes, the culinary arts magnet program, and performing arts. A major renovation to the school’s historic 1928 building is also part of project plans.
Initial site work began in 2016, when a new parking lot was built off Tackaberry Street. The first step in a three-phase project, the new lot allowed the campus to expand west, making room for the new additions.
The next phase, which is underway, includes renovation on the current building and construction of the first of two new additions. Once all work is done, the newly modernized school will accommodate 1,500 to 1,700 students.
To accommodate renovations and upgrades taking place the summer, Northside summer school courses will be held at neighboring Marshall Middle School. Northside will have access to the second and third floors of the middle school, as well as space for a small, temporary main office. Classes start on May 31 and run through June 29.
“We are working very well with the Marshall administrative team. We’ve had great communication,” Northside Principal Julissa Alcantar-Martinez said of her counterparts. “We’re excited to see the project progress.”
Alcantar-Martinez said Northside also will maintain primary administrative offices in the high school’s new temporary buildings over the summer.
With construction beginning in earnest, school administrators and Project Advisory Team members also are beginning to plan a groundbreaking ceremony, which is expected to be held in the fall. School officials said more information about the event will be provided as details are finalized.
Project Advisory Team member Connie Esparza attended a recent PAT meeting and said she was anxious to see progress being made on the school.
“It’s moving, and that’s the important thing, said Esparza, who also is a school alumna. “It’s exciting to see.”
Active construction is currently underway on roughly three dozen school building projects — more than at any other time in district history. Almost half of the schools in the 2012 Bond Program will be complete and open to students by the end of the summer. Once all work is complete, HISD will boast of one of the most modern urban high school portfolios in the country.