The atmosphere was festive at Kinder HSPVA, as music from student artists filled the air, welcoming guests to the school’s much-anticipated grand opening ceremony.
Built as part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program, the $96 million five-story facility opened in downtown Houston last month, and kicked off the first in a series of events and performances Monday to celebrate the school’s new chapter.
“We’re here, Downtown! We’re home,” student emcee Alana Bright proclaimed to a cheering crowd.
During the event, guests were treated to student performances, which showcased top caliber artists within the school’s student body.
“Our students and staff make Kinder HSPVA the best fine arts high school in the world,” HSPVA Principal Scott Allen said. “I feel like the luckiest man in the world with the best job in the world.”
The school, which was founded in 1971, has occupied two different buildings prior to the current one. However, this is the first facility designed especially for HSPVA to enhance its unique artistic programs.
“Looking around, it’s easy to see how this beautiful, state-of-the-art building will impact our student artists,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “This is a special day for our students, for our district, and for our city.”
The school features a dramatic main entrance with two-story glass windows, an 800-seat main theater with a balcony, multiple secondary theaters, writing labs, dance and music studios, a fitness center, ample practice and performance space, and two levels of underground parking.
“This wonderful new facility would not be here today without the support of the community and voters who supported the bond,” HISD Board President Diana Dávila said. “I look forward to seeing many great student performances here.”
Elected officials and dignitaries who also attended the event include HISD Board of Education Trustees Sue Deigaard, Rhonda Skillern-Jones, and Wanda Adams, former HISD Superintendent Terry Grier, U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia and Houston City Council Members Ellen Cohen, Dwight Boykins and Jack Christie.
“I am so grateful that our city chooses to support the work of this school to develop young artists,” Deigaard said. “Nowhere is that support more evident than in this amazing new building, a building that is in and of itself a work of art.”
Kinder HSPVA is one of six schools that officially opened on Jan. 7, bringing the Bond Program to more than 80 percent completion.
Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.