Construction of new Austin HS to reach milestone on Monday

An immense construction crane will lift the first wall of the new Austin High School into place on Monday, marking a significant development for the 2012 Bond project.

The news was announced to the school’s Project Advisory Team on Wednesday during its regular meeting, which also included general construction and budget updates.

The $80.9 million project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2020, will feature modern classrooms and flexible learning spaces while also preserving the historic front facade of the original main building, which opened in 1937.

“Tours of the construction site for small groups of students would really build excitement about the progress we’re making,” HISD Construction Services Senior Manager Meredith Smith said.

Asbestos abatement, interior demolition, and underground storm piping have been completed, while work is ongoing for under-slab utilities, rough grading of the site, concrete pouring, and tilt-wall panel placement. Work will continue on steel erection, roofing, paving, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

With recent approval from CenterPoint Energy, the new building is expected to have power by mid-summer.

“We could have a couple of celebrations for the seniors in June, and then have summer school to work out the kinks,” Austin High School Principal Steve Guerrero told the group, noting he was eager to move in as soon as possible.

Austin is among 40 schools across the district that are being renovated or rebuilt as part of the 2012 Bond Program. More than 80 percent of all HISD construction projects are complete, and HISD will soon boast 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.