New wing, renovated classrooms greet Wilson Montessori students for new school year

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Nestled in the heart of Montrose, the Wilson Montessori campus was filled with excitement on Monday as students entered the doors of the newly renovated building for the first day of school.

Final construction work wrapped on the project this summer, with Monday marking Monday the first time that both the new wing and existing classroom renovations were complete and open to students.

“We are truly excited about this new school year in this new space,” Wilson Montessori Principal Shameika Sykes-Salvador said. “Teachers are excited about being in their own spaces and being able to unpack and make it home.”

Wilson is one of 40 schools, including 29 high schools, being rebuilt or renovated as part of the 2012 Bond Program. The prekindergarten through eighth grade school received a $24.7 million makeover that included a building addition, as well as renovations to the historic main building, which was constructed in 1924.

Students in prekindergarten through third grade are housed in the renovated section of the school, where many original aspects of the building were preserved. Students in fourth through eighth grade are in the new building addition.

Sykes-Salvador said she sees a noticeable change in the renovated spaces.

“There is new furniture and bright paint that makes them feel welcomed,” Sykes-Salvador said, explaining how she thinks her students will benefit from the renovations.

The new addition features a gymnasium, drama room, multipurpose rooms, and a dining area with storefront glass as its north border, allowing students to look out to the exterior landscape. The new library spaces also have large exterior windows to bring in natural light and connect students to the outdoors.

“I think it is beautiful and spacious with a lot of natural light coming in,” Wilson parent Colin Frost said. “I think it is going to provide a great teaching environment for the kids.”

Frost’s wife, Vanessa Frost, added: “The new classroom layout allows the kids to feel free to speak their minds and opinions.”

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 updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.