Nine schools across the Houston Independent School District will formally open their doors to all students for the first time on Monday — the first day of the 2017-2018 school year.
New schools set to open this school year include Furr, Milby and Wisdom high schools, as well as Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men and DeBakey High School for Health Professions. DeBakey technically opened to summer school students in May, but Monday marks the start of its first fall semester in the new building.
Another four schools — Kashmere and Waltrip high schools, Sharpstown International School, and Codwell Elementary — underwent major renovations.
“These schools are the true definition of modern, collegiate learning environments, and we’re so excited to open them to students,” HISD Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders said. “For us, the first day of school doesn’t just represent the opening of these nine schools. It represents the completion of nearly half the projects in the 2012 Bond Program. That’s huge.”
All the schools — with the exception of Codwell Elementary School — were funded by the district’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, which calls for the renovation or rebuilding of 40 schools, including 29 high schools.
The designs for each school are unique to their individual academic and community needs, but each places an emphasis on providing a modern 21st-century learning environment with centralized learning commons, flexible classroom spaces, outdoor learning areas, large windows allowing in plenty of natural light, outdoor learning areas, and other seating nooks where students can gather to create and learn.
Schools previously opened under the program include Tanglewood Middle, Condit and Mark White elementary schools, Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, North Houston and South early college high schools, Fonwood Early Childhood Center, and Sterling Aviation High School. Construction was also completed on Delmar Fieldhouse and Butler and Barnett stadiums.
In addition to specific schools and stadiums, the bond program also includes work that will benefit students across the district, including technology upgrades, middle school restroom renovations, and safety and security improvements.
Construction is ongoing at more than two dozen additional campuses across the district. Once complete, HISD will feature one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the country.