After the storm, Furr High School students were more than ready to start the new school year, but they were especially excited Monday morning to begin their first day of classes in their new building.
“It feels like High School Musical,” joked junior Jose Padron about the colorful new building. “I really like it. I think people won’t skip school as much.”
The three-story, $56 million facility was designed to enhance the school’s science, technology, engineering, and arts programs. It includes flexible, brightly colored learning areas with moveable furniture and sliding glass doors to make the rooms easily adjustable and accommodate changing needs of students and staff.
The new school was completed and opened to teachers and staff last month, but Monday marked the first day it was open to students for the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
“It’s like a dream come true,” gushed Principal Bertie Simmons. “We worked so hard to make this building a reality, and I think it’s just amazing.”
The first day of school initially was planned for Monday, Aug. 28, but that start date was delayed as a result of flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Most HISD schools — including Furr — opened on Sept. 11, but some were further delayed or even relocated to temporary campuses as crews worked to repair buildings that sustained the most significant damage during the storm.
Simmons said that the new campus, which features modern amenities with a college-like feel, is attracting more students who want to enroll.
“All the kids want to come to this school,” Simmons said. “We’re excited! It’s going to be a great year.”
Furr is among eight new and renovated schools that opened for this first time this fall as part of the 2012 Bond Program. Almost half of the 40 schools in the program are now complete and open to students. Once all work is finished, the district will boast of one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the country.