Askew ES opens new building for 2018-19 school year

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Askew Elementary School’s All-Stars walked hand-in-hand into a bright and colorful new 2012 Bond building for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

Almost 1,000 students and parents walked down the school’s hallways awestruck as they toured their new facility for the first time on Monday.

“Welcome, welcome, welcome Askew All-Stars,” a voice said over the school intercom. “We are so excited to start this wonderful new school year. We hope you love and enjoy this new building just as much as we do.”

Askew is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools, being rebuilt or renovated as part of the voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. The $31 million facility houses prekindergarten through fifth grade.

“I couldn’t sleep last night,” Askew Principal Ebony Cumby said. “I was just so excited for the kids. This school is just a dream come true for them. Even I am like a kid inside a candy store in here.”

The first floor houses classrooms for lower grades, as well as music and theater classrooms, a learning commons, visual arts lab, special education department, administrative offices, and dining and multipurpose areas separated by a moveable partition.

“To see this here today is just amazing,” retired Askew Elementary ESL teacher Mary White said as she looked around the building. “To think that, at one time, this school barely had room for us — and now this. I’m just so excited.”

The second floor houses classrooms for upper grades, as well as the art lab, additional administrative offices, and a computer lab that overlooks the learning commons. Hallways on both floors have alcoves that can accommodate up to 10 students for independent or small group study.

“The process of building a new school is not easy, but it is definitely worth it — not only for teachers and staff, but for our community. This is for them,” Principal Cumby said, who led the school’s Project Advisory Team committee. “All the hard work that we put in, every little bit is worth it to see the looks on not only the kids’ faces but on their parents, as well. This is an All-Star campus for our Askew All-Stars.”

Construction remains underway at more than a dozen campuses across the district. More than 70 percent of all 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.