Large science labs, the gymnasium, and views of the Houston skyline were just some of the highlights seen by Project Advisory Team members as they were led on a tour of the new Yates High School on Thursday.
As attendees made their way through the facility making stops in the auditorium, dining commons, and JROTC spaces, the group huddled up near the large windows of a second-floor extended learning area to take in a full view of the University of Houston’s TDECU Stadium.
Currently the construction project is 85 percent complete with interior finishes — flooring, painting and ceiling tile installation — underway. All sidewalks and driveways have been poured and science lab equipment has been installed. Furniture selections will be finalized in the coming weeks.
“I think it’s coming along nicely,” said Yates Principal Ken Davis, mentioning how great it will be to witness students in their new spaces. “I think they’re going to enjoy it.”
Yates is among 40 projects, including 29 high schools, being renovated or rebuilt across the district as part of the voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. The new facility will accommodate 1,300 to 1,500 students and is expected to open in time for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
Plans for the $65 million project include a grand entryway with large windows connecting the front and back entrances and flexible learning spaces specifically built to showcase the communications and maritime magnet programs.
The 208,000 square-foot building will also feature a three-story academic wing with flexible core learning centers and a one-story, high-volume performance wing with an auditorium, fine arts and JROTC spaces, gymnasium and athletics area, and large dining commons with floor-to-ceiling windows.
PAT member Larry Blackmon said although there are certain aspects of the building he would like to change, he is confident that the Yates faculty will lead the school in the right direction.
“We have a good principal and enthusiastic people,” Blackmon said.
Construction is slated for completion this summer with the next phase of construction to include demolition of the existing building to make way for new athletic fields.
Active construction is underway at roughly two dozen schools throughout the district as part of the 2012 Bond Program. Half of all bond program 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.