Construction at Askew Elementary School is almost halfway done, with roofing, interior steel framing, and door and window frames all complete in the new building.
Additionally, the installation of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are well underway, with crews expected to begin testing the equipment towards the end of this year, project officials said.
“Things are just coming along great,” Askew Principal Ebony Cumby said. “It’s cool to have the building being built next door, so the kids and community get to see the daily progress.”
Askew is one of 40 schools being rebuilt as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. Once complete, the $26.6 million facility will accommodate up to 850 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grades.
The design features a two-story building erected on the north side of the property, with the front entrance continuing to face south on Wood Lodge Drive. Building plans provide for ample natural light, flexible learning spaces, and areas to accommodate outdoor learning opportunities.
Students in pre-kindergarten through first grade will be located on the first floor, as will the learning commons, music and theater classrooms, visual arts lab, and special education department. Also on the first floor are dining and multipurpose areas separated by an accordion door.
The second floor will house second- through fifth-grade classrooms, as well as the art lab, additional administrative offices, and a computer lab that overlooks the learning commons. Hallways on both floors have alcoves that can accommodate up to 10 students for independent study.
Construction is slated for completion in the fourth quarter of 2018. Once the building is complete, the old facility will be demolished to make way for a new parking lot.
Bond construction is underway at more than two dozen campuses in HISD. Almost 50 percent of bond projects are now complete and open to students. Once all work is done, HISD will boast of one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the country.