New year, new building for Sharpstown HS

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Lining the sidewalk outside the school, Sharpstown JROTC members lifted their ceremonial swords to the sky while band members played celebratory music to officially welcome their fellow students to their new campus.

Built as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, the new school formally opened its doors on Monday. To celebrate the occasion, students and teachers gathered first at their old building and then ceremoniously walked together to the new school.

“It’s so pretty,” freshman Hunny Langford said. “Who wouldn’t want to walk in here every day?”

The new $62.8 million facility features a dramatic two-story, light-filled atrium at the main entrance, classrooms equipped with modern technology and grouped into neighborhoods, and numerous flexible learning areas.

It also features a large dining commons, two new gymnasiums, a fine arts wing, a JROTC building, and a state-of-the-art media communications area complete with rooms for both editing and film production.

“It’s so new and fresh – a much better learning environment,” said Janine Jack, CTE teacher and senior sponsor. “I think it will be a turning point for us. The new building just makes you feel good about things.”

With students and staff moved into the new building, crews will begin demolition of the old building in the coming weeks, making way for additional parking, a basketball court, and a band practice field.

“I’m glad to be here. I’m really grateful for it,” junior Carlos Adams said. “We needed an upgrade. I hope the new environment will help me improve my grades.”

HISD Board of Education Trustee Holly Marie Flynn Vilaseca joined with students and staff on Monday to help celebrate the opening of the new school. She said she was “super excited” to see the new building open its doors.

“It’s a beautiful building, so light and bright,” she said. “I feel like the students are going to thrive here.”

Sharpstown is among 40 schools being renovated or rebuilt as part of the 2012 Bond Program. About half of all projects are now finished and open to students. Once all work is finished, 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 updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.