Worthing HS celebrates new building with grand opening ceremony

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Clad in gold glitter leotards, Worthing High School’s Prancing Dolls danced to the rhythmic beat of the band as cheerleaders chanted, energizing the crowd of students, staff, and alumni gathered in their sleek two-story commons area.

The crowd gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the new school, rebuilt under the 2012 Bond Program.

“This moment, this celebration today, does indeed represent a fresh beginning for Worthing High School,” HISD Board of Education Trustee Wanda Adams said. “This building has the state-of-the-art resources that our young scholars need and deserve to realize their most ambitious dreams.”

The $33 million, multi-phase school features four flexible learning centers, three career and technical education classrooms, and new spaces for administrative offices and student guidance. The project also includes a JROTC area, weight room, competition and auxiliary gyms, hospitality lab, commons area and cafeteria, parking lot, and bus drive.

The new school also incorporates a recently built, two-story classroom wing.

“Worthing students will now learn and explore in a modern space that is conducive to collaboration and project-based learning — skills our students need to be successful in college and the workforce,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “Thanks to this project, the future is bright and the possibilities for Worthing High School are endless.”

Large, helium-filled, gold balloons spelling out “Worthing” twisted in the wind as Worthing Principal Khalilah Campbell-Rhone addressed her students in the audience.

“You are the future,” Campbell-Rhone said. “Our expectation is that you become successful students, rich not only in money but in respect.”

Ninth-grader Evelyn Barron said her favorite part of the new building was the cafeteria.

“I love the fact that everyone can interact with each other,” Barron said. “The whole place has more of a college vibe.”

Ninth-grader James Nelson said he’s excited to spend his high school career at Worthing.

“I like the learning environment,” Nelson said. “The furniture’s really nice. It helps me focus.”

Worthing is one of 40 schools being renovated or rebuilt as part of the 2012 Bond Program. More than 80 percent of all HISD construction projects are now complete, and HISD soon will boast of 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.