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A lush, open green space with paved walkways leading to the entrance of the new Wisdom High School served as the perfect setting on Tuesday for the school’s momentous building dedication celebration.
As the most diverse school in HISD, the campus includes students from nearly 60 different countries. The event provided guests with a beautiful representation of that international makeup, with students lining the walkway adorned in their native attire and holding flags of their respective home countries.
“Margaret L. Wisdom High School represents my America; it represents your America,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “Over 70 languages are spoken here at this school. This is America.”
The new Wisdom High School, which is a part of the 2012 Bond Program, is a 280,000-square-foot facility that features a two-story building divided into four neighborhood wings with flexible learning spaces and plenty of windows to maximize natural light.
The $74.8 million modern facility includes a state-of-the-art theater, gymnasium with accompanying weight room, JROTC area, and music rooms. The new building also provides an area for specialized career training in fields such as welding and wood shop.
“These features have allowed our graduates to become best prepared for college and be able to compete in today’s job market, which is now reliant on technology every day,” Wisdom Principal Jonathan Trinh said, noting that the former school was in need of an upgrade. “Our staff and students have been enjoying this building tremendously.”
HISD Board of Education Trustee Anne Sung — also a former teacher at the old high school — shared her excitement with the crowd about how the new building will benefit students.
“The new Wisdom High School will have a huge impact on the community for years to come,” Sung said. “Our children deserve an environment like this, one that encourages their creativity and challenges their imagination.”
Wisdom Senior Claudia Wu echoed Sung’s sentiments about the new school. “I feel like the new campus inspires more creativity because students are motivated to come to school and do their work,” Wu said. “Also, the way the new school is built, there are so many community spaces where all of us can work on a project or do group work, and I really appreciate that.”
During the event, Trinh presented Jack Wisdom, the son of Margaret Long Wisdom — the school’s namesake — with a framed photo of the new building. The school was also presented with a resolution from the office of State Rep. Gene Wu.
Following the ceremonial ribbon-cutting, guests were invited to enjoy lunch before touring the new facility.
Construction is underway at roughly two dozen campuses throughout the district. More than 50 percent of all 2012 Bond projects are now complete and open to students, and that number is expected to rise to 80 percent by the end of 2018. Once all projects are finished, HISD will boast 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.