Wharton DLA construction project going vertical

Construction of the new Wharton Dual Language Academy is a quarter of the way complete, with interior demolition of the existing building finished and steel framing being erected for the new addition.

Crews are currently pouring concrete on the upper floors of the new three-story addition, as well as installing roofing, plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling systems within the existing building.

“I’m thrilled to see the new building taking shape,” Wharton Principal Jennifer Day said. “It’s going to be a great new 21st century learning facility for future generations.”

The $39.2 million addition and renovation project is part of the district’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. Plans call for the original 88-year-old building to undergo a complete interior renovation while maintaining much of its original façade. It will be connected to a new, three-story addition.

Once complete, the expanded facility will feature new learning spaces and labs, a new gym and library, an interior courtyard that preserves heritage trees, and a grand three-story glass entryway. It will accommodate 750 to 900 students.

The original building will house classrooms for the school’s youngest students. The new addition, which will be located on the north side of the campus, will house an administrative suite, classrooms, kitchen and dining commons, and performing arts spaces on the first floor.

The second floor will feature additional classrooms and labs, as well as a new gym with a performance platform, and fitness and locker rooms. The third floor will contain classrooms and labs, as well as teacher-preparation areas.

Additionally, the front of the school will now face west, with the main entrance off Columbus Street and visible from its nearby intersection with West Gray Street.

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.

Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest construction updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.