Garden Oaks Montessori celebrates new additions and renovations

The Garden Oaks Montessori School gymnasium came alive Thursday when energetic students filled the new space to celebrate the school’s building dedication.

The room was decorated with balloon arches in the school’s signature green and yellow colors and students’ colorful artwork. The event celebrated the impact the new facility has had on student learning and included a spirited performance of “Congo to the Mississippi” by the school’s lower elementary students.

“In addition to our new classrooms, having a new gymnasium, cafeteria, science lab, computer lab and art lab will help to grow and expand our community,” Garden Oaks Student Council President Josephine Damien said.

The $30.9 million project, part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, included a two-story addition and a three-story addition, as well as renovations to existing buildings.

The two-story addition contains a new gym, administrative lobby with a secure check-in area, and additional classroom spaces. The original building – built in 1979 – received extensive remodeling to provide the school with additional updated classrooms and science labs.

“This new facility means spaces specifically built for Montessori learning, enlarged classrooms for our materials. Principal Lindsey Pollock said. “It means we meet the TEA size requirements for our lower elementary classrooms, and it means access to the outdoors through these beautiful large windows.”

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan expressed her gratitude to everyone involved in the process of building the remarkable school and lauded all its new spaces.

“Thanks to all of the school’s new features, every single student from pre-k to eighth grade has a fresh space to build their future. There is truly something for everyone at this new school,” Lathan said.

HISD Board of Education Trustee Elizabeth Santos said the new Garden Oaks will impact not only the current students, but all students who attend.

“This is a building that the whole community can be proud of. It’s schools, without a doubt, that power a neighborhood, and this one will have a huge impact on residents of generations to come,” Santos said.

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.