Bellaire Cardinals inch closer to new athletic fields, school

Bellaire High School took a significant step toward the next phase of construction last month when the city approved a specific use permit allowing for the build of the high school’s new baseball and softball fields at 6300 Avenue B.

Abatement and demolition of the former Gordon Elementary School will begin soon to make way for the new fields.

The athletic fields are part of the 2012 Bond Program, which called for a rebuild of Bellaire’s existing school, which has been in use since 1955. Design plans for the $141.5 million, multi-phased project included the relocation of the baseball and softball fields to a site about two miles away to maximize space on the existing 18-acre campus.

Construction Senior Manager Sizwe Lewis said the overall project is 65 percent complete, with construction of academic classrooms now underway.

“The development of this project has been very successful,” Lewis said. “We have a great all-around team that’s managing this project and are ensuring that we meet the expectations of our stakeholders.” 

The facility features a new, three-story academic wing with multiple flexible learning areas for student collaboration, a library with makerspace, and an exterior courtyard. 

Additional features include a new fine arts wing containing a 900-seat auditorium and black-box theater, along with band, dance, and choir rooms. The design also includes a physical education wing with two gymnasiums and a natatorium with an eight-lane swimming pool and diving well.

“The new facility, once completed, will provide a true 21st century learning environment, and the upgrades in the fine arts and athletic areas are incredible,” Bellaire High School Principal Michael McDonough said. “This is important as every student spends at least one year in an art area and at least one year in a physical education setting.” 

The project is on track to welcome students into the new building by August 2021. Once it opens, the existing school building will be demolished to accommodate the construction of a four-level parking garage and new administration wing, which is expected to be completed in December 2022.

The final phase will also include the completion of the football field and six-lane track, courtyard/band practice area, indoor and outdoor dining commons, and the new learning commons.

Completion of Bellaire High School will close out the 2012 Bond Program, which included the renovation or rebuilding of 40 schools, including 29 high schools, across the district. Once the work is complete, HISD will boast of one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the country.