Construction on new Wharton DLA now 75 percent complete

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Construction on the new Wharton Dual Language Academy is making continued progress as the project is now 75 percent complete.

Crews have finished the installation of roofing, exterior brickwork, windows, HVAC systems, and kitchen equipment. Interior walls are nearly complete, and metal paneling for exterior walls is underway.

In addition, permanent power — a significant milestone in the project — was connected in early May.

“Work has been progressing extremely well,” Wharton Principal Jennifer Day said. “The day that we’re able to welcome our students to a new, 21st century facility will be a day that I’ll never forget.”

The $39.2 million addition and renovation project is part of the district’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. Plans call for the original 88-year-old building to undergo a complete interior renovation while maintaining much of its original facade. It will be connected to a new, three-story addition, which will be located at the rear of the building.

Once complete, the expanded facility will feature new learning spaces and labs, a new gym and library, an interior courtyard that preserves heritage trees, and a grand, three-story glass entryway. It will accommodate 750 to 900 students.

The original building will house classrooms for the school’s youngest students. The first floor of the new addition will house an administrative suite, classrooms, kitchen and dining commons, and performing arts spaces.

The second floor will feature additional classrooms and labs, as well as a new gym with a performance platform and fitness and locker rooms. The third floor will contain classrooms and labs, as well as teacher preparation areas.

Additionally, the front of the school will now face west, with the main entrance off Columbus Street and visible from its nearby intersection with West Gray Street.

Construction is slated for completion during the fourth quarter of 2018 with doors formally opening to students in January.

Wharton is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools, being renovated or rebuilt as part of the 2012 Bond Program. More than 50 percent of all bond projects are now finished and open to students, and that number is expected to grow to 80 percent by the end of the year. 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.