A sunny spring day and large shady trees provided the perfect backdrop to celebrate the grand opening of Scarborough High School.
As the school band played a selection of rhythm and blues, students, faculty, staff, community members, and visitors gathered Thursday on the school’s front lawn to celebrate official completion of the $14.6 million construction and renovation project.
“This school is full of students who want to give back to their school and community,” said Scarborough Principal Rod Trevino. “They want to do well for themselves, and we are tasked with cultivating that dream for them. This school makes it easier — when your air conditioner works, when your wi-fi works, when you have new furniture, and the halls are safe. People take for granted how impactful it is to have a campus that looks so beautiful.”
Scarborough is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools across the district, being renovated or rebuilt as part of the district’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program.
The project included a 13,000-square-foot fine arts and JROTC addition, as well as extensive renovations to the existing building, including a new welcome center, upgraded cafeteria and snack bar, renovated gym, and renovated classrooms, hallways, and career and technical education spaces.
The facelift helped transform the campus into a modern school equipped for 21st-century learning.
“All of these renovations you see at Scarborough were designed for one purpose, to increase and enhance student learning,” said HISD Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby. “We also wanted to modernize all of the classrooms related to what students need in a 21st-century environment.”
HISD Board of Education Trustee Elizabeth Santos, who represents the school, told the crowd she got to know the community well while serving briefly as a teacher at the campus one summer. She said she found the school to be a welcoming part of the community.
“This building is absolutely beautiful and functional,” Santos said. “Its new features are bright and open, and it has modernized spaces throughout that inspire our students’ creativity and fuel their energy and interest in learning. We need to foster creativity in our students, and this building does that.”
With both alumni and future students in attendance, the event was designed to honor the school’s history while celebrating its future. Students from Benbrook and Wainwright elementary schools — both neighborhood campuses that feed into Scarborough — attended the celebration, as did former students and faculty members from as far back as the 1970s.
“Scarborough has come a long way,” said freshman band member Tytianna Tucker. “It’s helped us a lot. Our band has come together more, and we’re being more productive as a group.”
For Christina Aguirre-Oliva, the grand opening was a chance to reflect on her time at the school as a member of the Scarborough Class of 1989. Now the principal at Wainwright, Aguirre-Oliva said the modern design of the updated school was impressive, but she still hearkens back to her time as a student.
“I think the project has done a great job of modernizing the school while holding to the special traditions and the things that make Scarborough a wonderful neighborhood high school,” she said.
The group assembled for the grand opening rounded out the day with a reception and walking tours of the new facility.
More than half of the projects associated with the 2012 Bond Program are now complete, and that number is expected to climb to 70 percent by the start of the 2018-2019 school year. Once all projects are complete, HISD will boast of one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in America.
Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest construction updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.