The school spirit was palpable as the Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center Mighty Tiger Marching Band played crowd-pumping music and the Tigerettes danced in fringed gold leotards with big bows fastened to their ponytails.
The performances were part of the school’s homecoming week festivities, which included a pep rally-style grand opening held to celebrate the new school and the impact it’s had on students, staff, and the community.
“Transitioning to this building has been a new beginning for everyone,” Sam Houston MSTC Senior Deann Mendoza said, noting that the new school changed her classmates’ attitudes. “The atmosphere here is different in a good way.”
Built as part of the 2012 Bond Program, the new Sam Houston opened to students in January 2019. The 360,000 square-foot facility can accommodate up to 2,750 students.
Designed to have a collegiate feel, the school features meeting areas to facilitate project-based learning, a large outdoor courtyard, and a fine arts wing with an 800-seat auditorium and black box theater.
The building also includes a grand learning stairway, which functions as a flexible space for students to gather informally and for class lectures and presentations.
“We are deeply grateful for those who voted for the 2012 Bond,” Sam Houston Principal Alan Summers said. “Thank you very much for investing in our future.”
HISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan noted that Sam Houston is one of the oldest high schools in the state and steeped in history — former president Lyndon B. Johnson taught public speaking at the school in the 1930s.
“This new school should fill everyone with pride,” Lathan said. “It will serve as the start of Sam Houston’s next chapter.”
HISD Board of Education Trustee Elizabeth Santos, a former Sam Houston student and teacher, encouraged seniors to remain active participants after graduation.
“Stay involved and give back to your community,” Santos said.
Also during the event, U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia presented the school with a U.S. flag flown over the Capitol on Independence Day.
Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.