A group of enthusiastic teachers clad in blue Huskies t-shirts cheered as students arrived at the new Scarborough Elementary School for the first time on Monday.
After undergoing temperature checks, the students marveled at their new surroundings and the colorful bilingual welcome signs awaiting them.
Fourth-grader Elizabeth Garza wore a black mask imprinted with the smile of a Cheshire cat, but the sparkle in her eyes made it clear she was smiling just as wide underneath it.
“I woke up at 5 a.m. and set my alarm to my favorite song,” Garza said, giggling as she noted that It was her first time in her new school and the first time reuniting with her classmates since March. “I felt today was just going to be an amazing day.”
Scarborough was among four elementary schools to open their doors for the first time on Monday — just in time for the start of in-person instruction — after being rebuilt due to significant damage from Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
The two-story 91,300-square-foot building features open, brightly colored spaces, abundant natural light, and extended learning spaces throughout the building for student collaboration.
“The school is beautiful. The learning environment is going to be awesome,” Principal Miriam Medina said as she pointed out the bright colors and modern light fixtures. “We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time and we’re finally here. We were ready.”
The school has a learning staircase that functions as a flexible space for learning and performances, an open concept library, and a state-of-the-art technology lab.
“I want students to feel at home and I want them to feel comfortable and safe,” Principal Medina said. “I want them to see this as a brand-new beginning to start their academic success.”
Scarborough was originally set to open in the spring but was delayed to the fall due to furniture delivery issues and other complications caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Fifth-grader Adam Medina said it was well worth the wait.
“I like the cafeteria and the gym looks really cool,” he said. “Not that the other gym was bad, but this one just feels right.”