Pilgrim Academy welcomes students back to new building

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A sea of students dressed in red rushed into Pilgrim Academy’s newly renovated building on Monday to begin the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.

Pilgrim’s $8 million construction project, which is a part of the voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, features an expansion and building renovation that incorporates architectural aspects of both the past and future.

Pilgrim Principal Diana Castillo said school staff worked for more than two weeks to make sure that everything was ready to go for the first day of school.

“This is game time,” Castillo said. “Our teachers are doing a fantastic job. We’ve got it going on, and we’re still working on finishing up the new registrations. It’s exciting.”

The building’s expansion and renovation will accommodate the school’s kindergarten through eighth grade programs. The facility’s addition houses the middle school program, which was previously contained in temporary buildings. Some of the new features include a science lab, gymnasium, flexible learning areas, teacher work spaces, and additional classrooms that can be closed off and serve as a multi-purpose space.

“The new addition has worked out fabulous,” Castillo said. “We love our gym—it’s beautiful. Pilgrim is simply an exciting new building to be able to share with everybody.”

Community volunteer Jaime De La Isla, who is also a former Houston Independent School District Area Superintendent, said it was important to assist with supporting students in any way possible.

“We really believe that in order to change the future in Houston, you have to construct and start building up with children,” De la Isla said. “Whatever the grade level, there is a level of commitment here to keep building on that ideal.”

Construction is underway at about two dozen campuses. 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 updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.