Shiny blue balloons spelling out “Wilson” floated on stage as students sang, providing a joyous start to the Wilson Montessori building dedication.
The Montessori school hosted the festivities to celebrate its $24.7 million makeover. The project included renovations to the school’s original historic 1924 building and a new three-story addition.
“The spaces in the new wing and the renovated spaces in the historical wing allow our students to experience learning specially designed to meet their developmental needs,” Wilson Principal Shameika Sykes-Salvador said.
Wilson Montessori is among 40 schools being rebuilt or renovated as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. The school’s new addition features a learning center, drama room, multipurpose rooms, and dining area lined with large windows, allowing students to look out to the exterior landscape.
Other features include a two-story library space with large exterior windows that bring in natural light and connect students to the outdoors.
“This building will build better lives for our children,” HISD Board of Education Trustee Anne Sung said. “It will build pride in our community, and it will build strong relationships as we continue to work together to ensure all of our children receive the best educational opportunities we can provide.”
Serving students in prekindergarten through eighth grade, Wilson has an almost century-long history in the Montrose community. It also was HISD’s first all-Montessori school, a designation it received 14 years ago.
“These newly renovated spaces will serve to solidify Wilson’s legacy for many more years to come,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “This school is simply amazing, and our students will thrive here.”
Following the ceremony, guests were invited to the cafeteria for a tea party-themed reception, complete with ornately decorated ceramic teacups and teapots placed on tables covered in crisp white linens.
Eighth-grade student Miles Smith said their new middle school community space – called a kiva – had allowed students to come together and learn more about each other.
“All in all, this new building has improved our education, given us more freedom to learn, and brought us closer together to be a community,” Miles said.
More than 80 percent of all school construction is now complete, and once all bond projects are done, HISD will boast of one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the nation.
Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.