Northside High School students steadily filed into the commons on Monday and lined up behind a bank of white tables, eager to pick up schedules, find friends, and get a first glimpse of the new campus.
Standing just behind the tables was Assistant Principal Victor Okoli, armed with a floor plan and ready to help students navigate the new facility.
Principal Cecilia Gonzales stood just a few feet away, watching over the process, welcoming students back to school, and guiding them through new, brightly colored hallways.
“We all came to school early this morning. We were so excited looking at our new facility,” Gonzales said. “We couldn’t be happier for the kids. They deserve it.”
A part of the 2012 Bond Program, the $66 million project features two new additions for culinary and fine arts, along with renovations designed to modernize classrooms and labs while preserving the original building’s historic architectural façade. Exterior windows were also replaced, and additional windows were installed to bring in more natural light.
“I’m looking forward to the new school year,” Senior Carla Alexander said, noting that she had been witness to the construction since starting at Northside as a freshman. “Even though it’s the same school I’ve been to, it feels like a different school I’m going to. I’m enjoying the view and cherishing the moment because it’s my last year.”
The sentiment seemed to be shared by many of her fellow students. Teacher Jenny Fox said she noticed many students expressing surprise as they walked through the newly renovated campus and new fine arts wing.
“What’s happening now is that they are going to come to new classrooms with state-of-the-art technology and all new furniture,” she said. “These spaces are amazing for learning.”
Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.