Girls in colorful, ruffled dresses with yellow ribbons in their hair waved their arms back and forth as boys in wide-brimmed black hats and red ties tapped their feet and wooden swords on the pavement.
Moving to the steady beat of mariachi music echoing through the air, the Ballet Folklorico energized the crowd gathered before them to celebrate the construction progress made on the new Scarborough Elementary School.
“We are Scarborough. Whatever it takes, together we can. No excuses,” said fifth-grader Jasmine Savala, who was adorned with a bright pink construction hat and matching vest.
Scarborough is one of four elementary schools being rebuilt after sustaining significant damage from Hurricane Harvey. The Wednesday celebration drew hundreds of Scarborough students, parents, staff, alumni, and community members, all of whom huddled under a large tent erected alongside the construction site.
Throughout the ceremony, speakers reminded the crowd that despite the damage caused by the storm two years ago, the school community is stronger than ever.
“The structure you see behind us marks a new beginning, a rebirth, a commitment to education,” Scarborough Principal Miriam Medina said. “This school will hold a bright future for all the students who become part of the Scarborough family.”
Scarborough’s $23 million facility will accommodate about 750 students. The two-story 91,300 square-foot building will feature open brightly colored learning spaces, abundant natural light, and extended learning spaces throughout the building for student collaboration.
“Parents, we want you to know this is our commitment to your child’s future and your child’s education,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said.
The new school is set to open next summer. Until then, Scarborough will remain at its temporary location, the former Terrell Middle School.
To mark the school’s journey back to home, art teacher Lynn Bennett presented a time capsule containing photos, a copy of Wednesday’s Houston Chronicle, a photo of current staff, and a drawing of Scarborough’s large “family tree.” The capsule will be sealed and not opened again until 2040.
After closing remarks, attendees used bright blue paint pens to sign a large gray beam that will be featured on the campus once the new school is completed.
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