Designs for Westbury HS fine arts wing take shape

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As work on the initial scope of Westbury High School’s bond construction is wrapping up, Project Advisory Team members met recently for the first look at design plans for another new addition.

The new $6.2 million fine arts wing, which is funded through surplus 2012 Bond Program funds, will be built on the north side of the campus on the site of the school’s old gymnasium and dining hall, which are in the process of being demolished.

Construction of the fine arts wing is expected to start in the first quarter of 2019 and take about 10 months to complete.

Preliminary designs for the new wing feature band and orchestra halls with individual and small group practice rooms, a speech and debate room, a black box theater, and dance and art studios. The existing auditorium will also be updated with a new sound system, house lights, paint, carpet, and seating. Plans also call for the wood stage floor to be refinished and acoustical panels.

“I love the designs,” Principal Susan Monaghan said. “Our fine arts staff have been very involved with the architect and project team to ensure our wants and needs are incorporated. It’s exciting to see the program grow.”

As part of the voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, Westbury previously opened a new $40 million addition, which includes 26 classrooms, flexible learning centers, two new gyms, and a multi-purpose dining commons area. The project also included general renovations to the main building, including new administrative offices and a redesigned secure front entrance. New baseball and softball fields were also constructed.

The last phase of the initial project, which is set to wrap up this fall, is the construction of new tennis courts and a green space/practice field that will also serve as a detention pond.
“I think it looks wonderful,” PAT member Cindy Chapman said of the fine arts wing design. “It certainly has everything we in the community were really hoping for.”

Westbury is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools, being rebuilt or renovated as part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program. More than 70 percent of all 2012 Bond projects are 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.