Excitement could be seen on the faces of many students at Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy as they walked the halls of their newly renovated facility for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.
The school’s multi-phased construction project wrapped earlier this summer with completion of the final work to third-floor classrooms and learning commons areas.
“It’s definitely exciting,” YWCPA Principal April Williams said, mentioning the completion of the school’s final renovations. “It really sells our school well and the girls deserve it.”
YWCPA is among 40 schools being renovated or rebuilt as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. Erected in 1925, the original, three-story, stately brick building is a historic presence in Houston’s Third Ward and is among HISD’s oldest school buildings.
The $31 million project, which included general campus renovations and a partial building replacement, incorporated the preservation of historically significant building features, while also increasing learning spaces and adding modern science and technology labs.
“I like the change in color scheme,” YWCPA senior Brooke Edwards said. “It gives a professional feel and helps me with being attentive in class.”
The facility’s new building addition houses the gymnasium, locker and weight rooms, science and robotics labs, and learning commons. The project also included renovations to classrooms, administrative offices, cafeteria and kitchen spaces, a performing arts area which includes a dance studio, band hall, and choir room, and the enclosure of the school’s outdoor atrium.
YWCPA senior Rebecca Castelan said she enjoys the new look and feel of the school especially with the abundant natural light from the windows.
“I like how the building is more spacious and resembles a college campus,” Castelan said. “It’s nice that we have more light and it’s not as gloomy.”
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.