HISD Construction Services hosts employee appreciation lunch

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Dozens of employees tasked with building and renovating HISD schools were honored Friday for their hard work and dedication during the district’s Construction Services quarterly update and appreciation luncheon.

Last month, the Construction Services team completed and opened nine new and renovated schools in time for the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Their openings bring the 2012 Bond Program’s completion rate to just under 50 percent.

The team also was called upon in late August to help repair and relocate schools that were severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done this summer,” HISD Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders said during the luncheon. “We truly appreciate you all.”

New and renovated schools that opened this fall include Furr, Wisdom, Milby, Kashmere, and Waltrip high schools, Sharpstown International School, Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men, and DeBakey High School for Health Professions. Though not funded by the 2012 Bond Program, Codwell Elementary School also opened after a major campus renovation overseen by bond program staff.

The team also jumped in to help the facilities team following Hurricane Harvey, which delayed the start of school by two weeks. While most schools started on Sept. 11, some were further delayed or even relocated to temporary campuses as crews worked to repair buildings that sustained significant damage during the storm.

Immediately following the storm, bond program staff — experienced in working with deadline construction projects — were tapped to oversee the repair and relocation of the seven schools that sustained the most significant damages. Staff ensured renovations were complete and furniture was installed at all seven temporary locations in advance of their Sept. 25 start date.

“The luncheon was a great way to recognize all the hard work my colleagues and I did during the Hurricane Harvey recovery,” HISD Project Manager Lemont Williams said after the luncheon. “I also liked the quality time I got to spend with my new and former colleagues.”

New employees also were introduced during the luncheon, as were employees with birthdays in the third quarter and those who had earned years of service awards.