Braeburn ES students head ‘home’ to new school

Students couldn’t hold back their delight as they entered the new Braeburn Elementary School for the first time on Monday — the district’s first day of in-person learning.

The long-awaited day marked not just a return to classrooms, but also the first time since 2017 that Braeburn students have been able to settle into a permanent home.

Teachers offered a friendly ‘hello’ and ‘welcome back’ to students as they entered the main hallway, were positioned in physically distant single-file lines, and then led to their new classrooms.

“I was amazed and nervous at the same time because I’ve never seen such giant lights and pretty colors in a building,” fourth-grader Diana Salazar said. 

The original Braeburn campus was demolished after it sustained significant damage during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Students relocated to a temporary campus at Welch Middle School while their school was torn down and rebuilt.

The new $30 million facility has nearly 112,000 square feet of learning space on two floors with 52 classrooms. It features bright colors, an abundance of natural light, reading nooks, a new library, fully equipped music room, and a parent meeting room that doubles as a training space.

Fourth grade teacher Sandra Butler has been at Braeburn for 16 years and said there is no comparison between the original school and the new building that welcomed them all on Monday.

“This one is very well lit. This campus is huge. No more temporary buildings,” Butler said. “Our new classrooms have new technology, furniture, and lots of color, which I think will be good for morale, too.”

Principal Amanda Rogers said she is excited to see students come to the new campus for the first day of in-person instruction. She enthusiastically welcomed back students with a smile that you could see through her mask.

“We’ve been through it all, and now we’re back home,” Rogers said. “We are thankful to be back in our own neighborhood with our students and parents.”

Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.