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Westbury High School students and staff looked right at home in their new building addition on Monday — the official opening day of the school’s two-story building expansion.
The new wing was completed and furnished ahead of schedule, which enabled the school to move in two weeks early for a “soft opening” before spring break.
Westbury Principal Susan Monaghan said the move was seamless, with crews and teachers working over the weekend to prevent any disruption to instruction time.
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” Monaghan said. “The kids are in awe of the new space. They’re excited and proud. Overall, there’s just a great feeling on campus.”
The Huskies’ new addition is part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program and includes 26 classrooms, flexible learning centers, two new gyms, and a multi-purpose dining commons area.
“The new addition is amazing, especially the gyms and the weight room,” Westbury senior Roger Wells said. “I think now more kids will want to come back to Westbury.”
The $40 million project also includes general renovations to the main building, including new administrative offices and a redesigned secure front entrance, which has been relocated to the highly-visible atrium area.
The plans also include new baseball and softball fields, which were completed in an earlier phase of the project.
“It’s a beautiful school, and it’s great for the community,” Westbury Assistant Principal Waymon Moore said. “It’s bringing about school pride. This is going to be the place to be in the future. There will be a waiting list to get in.”
The next phase of the project will be demolition of the existing temporary buildings to make room for new tennis courts and a green space/practice field that also will serve as a detention pond.
Construction is expected to run through the fourth quarter of 2018.
After the current project is complete, crews will begin upgrading Westbury’s fine arts spaces. The $6.2 million facelift will be funded from bond surplus dollars approved last spring by the HISD Board of Education.
Westbury is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools, being rebuilt or renovated as part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program. Construction is underway at roughly two dozen campuses in HISD, and half 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.