Category Archives: 21st century schools

Bellaire HS preparing to open three new wings to students this fall

With the first phase of construction 85 percent complete, Bellaire High School is on track to debut three new wings — academic, fine arts, and physical education — when students return for the 2021-2022 school year.

Crews are installing technology in the three-story academic wing, which is nearly complete and expected to be outfitted with furniture in June after students depart for the summer.

Carpet has been installed in the auditorium and ceiling tiles and flooring are now being installed in the remainder of the fine arts wing. Epoxy flooring in the natatorium pool also is underway in the physical education wing.

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New Austin HS set to open after winter break

There are many features that Principal Orlando Reyna finds impressive about the newly constructed Austin High School, but the contemporary courtyard is by far one of his favorites.

“It just looks amazing,” Reyna said, smiling at the thought of it. “I anticipate it’s going to be a popular space for us to utilize and for students to congregate.”

After a semester-long delay due to pandemic-related manpower and delivery issues, Austin High School is finally set to open its doors to students on Wednesday, Jan. 6, following their return from winter break.

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Eight years later: A look back at designing schools for learning

These certainly aren’t your grandmothers’ schools.

At least that’s how Dan Bankhead, General Manager for Facilities Design, describes the newly redesigned schools built under the 2012 Bond Program.

A sharp contrast from the original buildings, classrooms are now bright, spacious, and flooded with natural light. Bold colors adorn the floors and walls. Shared spaces are reminiscent of trendy hotel lobbies and cafés.

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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.

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Scarborough ES welcomes Huskies to new home

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.

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Washington HS engineering students learn new skill with face shield project

For Booker T. Washington High School sophomore Rebecca Stansell, the first day of face-to-face instruction for the 2020-21 school year had some added emotion – and even a few nerves.

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan was scheduled to visit the historic Independence Heights neighborhood campus on the first day of face-to-face instruction, where she would be greeted by Stansell and fellow engineering students with a customized face shield designed to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

“It was thrilling, but a little nerve-racking because I had never met the superintendent. There was a lot of moving around, and a lot of people.” Stansell said. “We assembled her face shield last week, and I think she was happy – and even a little surprised – to see that we customized it by putting her name on the shield.”

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Three HISD schools honored for exceptional design

Collaborative learning spaces and abundant natural light are the hallmarks of a trio of Houston Independent School District high schools now being recognized for their innovative designs.

The new buildings for Madison High School and Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center, as well as the addition and renovations to Northside High School, are three of just 48 projects across the state being recognized by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).

“These awards are a testament to our focus on our students,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We are proud to provide them with beautiful, functional spaces that foster learning and excitement. At the end of the day, it’s always about the kids.”

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HISD receives $1 million grant from Moody Foundation to help close digital divide

The Houston Independent School District will receive $1 million from the Moody Foundation to help close the digital divide by purchasing computers for HISD’s Achieve 180 students on some of the district’s underperforming campuses.

The funds will be used to purchase more than 2,000 devices for students in pre-K through fifth grade at schools where Achieve 180 program is in place. Achieve 180 is a research-based action plan to support, strengthen, empower, and increase student achievement in underserved and underperforming HISD feeder pattern communities.

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‘A sense of excellence’ as progress continues at new Bellaire HS

Natural light and a central “Main Street” hallway are the hallmarks of the new Bellaire High School, which is now 57 percent complete.

Part of the 2012 Bond Program, the project is on track to be completed in time for the 2021-2022 school year. The completion of Bellaire will close out the massive bond program, which included the renovation or rebuilding of 40 schools, including 29 high schools, across the district.

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Realignment projects near completion as 2012 Bond wraps up

It has been nearly 50 years since Booker T. Washington High School had a swim team. But as the high school’s new practice pool nears completion, that will soon change.

Washington’s new pool and natatorium are among several 2012 Bond realignment projects — new, board-approved projects funded by surplus bond savings but  not part of the original scope of work. 

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