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Excitement filled the halls of the new Energy Institute High School on Thursday as the school opened the building for the first time to welcome its incoming students to Freshman Signing Night.
During the event, the incoming class of 2022 officially committed to attending the school this fall and got their first Energy Institute High School t-shirts. Many students and their families arrived early, eager to preview the campus before its formal opening in August.
“It’s amazing. Completely different from anything I’ve seen at a high school level,” said Connease Warren, who brought her son, Parker, to the event. “It has a Google, Silicon Valley feel with all the amenities and aesthetics.”
The $37 million 114,000-square-foot facility was designed for project-based learning and is comprised of three separate buildings, which mimic the look of a high-tech corporate environment.
A central courtyard connects the buildings and features a large covered learning staircase as its centerpiece. Several smaller outdoor gathering spaces throughout the campus provide students with group and individual study options.
“It’s wonderful to see the excitement on the faces of our new students,” Energy Principal Lori Lambropoulos said. “We love our new building and can’t wait to move in this summer.”
During the event, Energy student ambassadors led tours of the building and made presentations on various projects they are working on. They also gave robotics demonstrations and provided information about students clubs.
“It’s awesome,” incoming student James Carvajal said, noting he was particularly excited about the school’s robotics program and the large number of club options.
His mother, Irma Lozano, shared his sentiments.
“It’s impressive. Definitely not a traditional school,” Lozano said. “The technology is wonderful, but I think the students we’ve seen are actually more impressive.”
The new campus is located on Southmore Boulevard at Tierwester Street near both the University of Houston and Texas Southern University. It will open for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
“It feels like a college campus, very modern with lots of great spaces,” said Veronica Lopez, whose daughter plans to attend the school next year. “I’m excited about what she will be learning here.”
Construction is underway at roughly two dozen campuses across the district. Once all current 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 district school construction.