Mitchell ES celebrates construction progress on new school

The autumn chill did not stop the Mitchell Elementary School community from gathering Thursday on the site where their new school soon will stand to celebrate the progress being made on their new building. 

Students in matching yellow T-shirts kicked off the event with a heartwarming rendition of “There’s a Leader in Me.” Mitchell Principal Elizabeth Castillo-Guajardo then spoke to the crowd in English and Spanish. 

“We are so proud of the resiliency everyone has shown throughout this process,” Castillo-Guajardo said. “Our new school will be a symbol of promise and hope that will propel our students into their bright future.” 

Mitchell is one of four elementary schools being rebuilt after sustaining significant damage from Hurricane Harvey. The new $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. 

“We are so grateful for the support we have received and continue to receive from our families, communities, and school leaders,” said fourth-grader Kamren Stevenson, whose words were then translated by fifth-grader Joselin Jaimes for the largely Spanish-speaking crowd. “We also want to thank the people that have been building our school and let them know that we plan to make the most of it.”   

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan thanked parents for allowing their children to attend Mitchell at its temporary location — the former Codwell Elementary School. 

“We are demonstrating what can happen when a community and a village comes together,” Lathan said. “We’re going to really celebrate next August when we are in our new building.”   

After closing remarks, the Sterling Aviation High School band and color guard surprised attendees with a musical performance. The ceremony concluded with community members taking turns using bright blue paint pens to inscribe their names on a large steel beam that will be featured as part of the new school. 

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