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Austin High School students and staff began the spring semester on Monday in a temporary campus in preparation for the start of construction on their new building.
The new Temporary Learning Center — dubbed by school officials as the “TLC” and made up of temporary buildings — was built to ensure student and staff safety during construction. It is located along South Lockwood Drive, directly behind the existing school building.
Located in Houston’s East End, the 80-year-old comprehensive high school is being rebuilt as part of the Houston Independent School District’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. Plans for the $79.6 million project call for a new facility that preserves the original building’s architecturally significant building structure and can accommodate up to 2,000 students.
“What excites me as principal is that students and staff are excited about the temporary campus,” Austin Principal Steve Guerrero said. “It’s exceeding people’s expectations regarding the way it looks and feels. Hats off to the people who sacrificed their holidays to make this happen for us. And it’s only going to get better.”
Students and staff will remain at the temporary campus throughout the construction process, which is expected to conclude at the end of 2019. While at the temporary campus, students will have access to the same programming, activities, clubs, and sports that currently are offered in the original building.
“Rather than move students to another location, the HISD Board of Education made the decision to construct a temporary campus just across the street,” said HISD Trustee Diana Davila, who oversees the district in which Austin is located. “We know this works better for the Austin community. Students will not have to board a bus and go somewhere else. They can stay right here in the East End.”
Austin is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools, being renovated or rebuilt across the district as part of the 2012 Bond Program. Construction is currently underway at roughly two dozen campuses, and almost 50 percent of all 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.