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Festive music and cheers filled the air of the new Yates High School as students danced their way into the new facility to kick off the 2018-2019 school year.
More than 20 alumni — donning crimson and gold — gathered at the school’s main entrance chanting the school song as the band and color guard performed for students and staff in celebration of the new facility.
“The building brings life to Yates and the community,” said Yates alumnus Marcus Brooks, who is also the father to a current Yates senior. “It’s something new and fresh for the kids.”
Yates is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools that is being rebuilt or renovated under the voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. Yates Principal Tiffany Guillory said she couldn’t be prouder of the school’s strong alumni base the school.
“I am overwhelmed and grateful,” Guillory said as she looked out to the crowd. “Our students need your support.”
The $65 million project includes 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 also features 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.
“This is the greatest campus opening out of the historic 2012 Bond,” Yates Assistant Principal Joseph Mata said. “It’s a new commitment with this community building off of its rich past and moving forward to a greater future.”
Yates sophomore Reabon Jackson said that when she walked through the front doors she thought of how the new building will create a new lifestyle for students.
“I’m excited. I feel like it’s going to be a great year,” Jackson said.
More than 70 percent of all 2012 Bond projects are now complete and that number is expected to top 80 percent by the end of 2018. Once all projects are finished, HISD will have one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the country.
Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest construction updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.