Askew ES celebrates new facility with student-led ceremony

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Askew Elementary School’s bold primary colors and collage of stars on the gymnasium walls set the stage Thursday as students, known as Askew All-Stars, led a building dedication ceremony.

The new $27.8 million west area campus opened for the start of the 2018-2019 school year and recently completed construction of a playground and parking lot to finish out the project.

“Welcome to the brand new Askew Elementary School,” said Principal Ebony Cumby, as she addressed the crowd of parents, students, teachers, and community members. “We have an amazing school that is the culmination of years of work and dedication by many of you in this room, and we are so grateful.”

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan also thanked community members for supporting the 2012 Bond Program and stressed the impact the new facility will have on student learning.

“Everything about this school is impressive,” Lathan said. “This building will give our students a firm foundation where they can fuel their future learning.”

The two-story school features modern classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, music and theater classrooms, a combined library and computer lab known as the learning commons, a visual arts lab, and a large dining and multipurpose area, which also serves as a gymnasium and auditorium.

Hallways on both floors have alcoves with comfortable furniture that can accommodate small groups of students for independent or group study.

“This beautiful new school was designed to create a positive learning environment that will inspire kids to want to learn,” said HISD Trustee Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca. “It is truly a 21st century school, exactly the kind of environment our children need and deserve to prepare them for the future.”

Attendees were treated to performances by the Askew Choir and fourth-grader Chrisette Wigfall’s award-winning speech from this year’s Martin Luther King Oratory Competition.

Fifth-grader Nick Nedwed, who photographed the event for the school’s journalism club, said his favorite parts are the large library and the new gym.

“Everybody likes coming here,” Nedwed said. “It’s really nice, and now with the gym we can have a basketball team.”

Askew is one of 40 schools being rebuilt or renovated as part of the 2012 Bond Program, which is now more than 80 percent complete.

Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest construction updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.