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Wharton Dual Language Academy officially opened its new campus Monday, welcoming students and staff to the first day of classes in the $39.2 million facility.
Students, faculty, and staff at the PK-8 school were eager to return to their new and improved home campus after spending the last year and a half housed in temporary buildings a few blocks away during construction.
“The new building has infused new life into the school and community,” Principal Jennifer Day said. “We moved from a very old building and temp buildings into a new state-of-the-art everything – technology, a maker space, science labs, and more. There are so many more learning opportunities for our students, and we are looking forward to adding more students and more programs.”
The three-story facility features new learning spaces and science labs, a new gym, a two-story library and computer lab, and a large central courtyard that preserves two much-loved stately live oak trees.
Seventh-grader Braelyn Payne said she likes everything about the new building and can’t wait to spend more time at the school.
“It’s very fancy. It feels classy,” she said. “I feel awesome here.”
The building also features a grand three-story glass entryway and contains extra program and classroom space to allow for future expansion.
Seventh-grader Luca Neal said he likes the added space and the natural light.
“I really like the open spaces and all the windows,” he said. “The building is really big.”
The original 1929 building underwent a complete interior renovation, while preserving much of the original front facade. It is now connected to the modern new addition, which is located at the rear of the building.
“This is a facility the community can be proud of,” Day said. “There is so much potential here to encourage learning and creativity.”
Wharton is one of six 2012 Bond schools that officially opened on Jan. 7, bringing the program to more than 80 percent completion. Once all work is finished, HISD will feature 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.