Category Archives: 21st century schools

Two years later: Schools damaged by Hurricane Harvey moving forward

Nearly three feet of water rippled through freshly painted hallways, carrying brightly colored classroom decorations that fell from wet walls. Bookshelves collapsed and spilled its contents, and desks were scattered about by the force of the water.    

It’s been two years since that scenario played out at four HISD elementary schools — Braeburn, Mitchell, Scarborough, and Kolter.  

Just as faculty and staff at each school had prepared for their newest group of students, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast. The storm inflicted damage so significant that students and staff had to be relocated to temporary campuses.  

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Construction progressing at new Mitchell ES

Construction on the new Mitchell Elementary School is progressing as the concrete foundation and hollow core planks are now complete.

Crews have begun the erection of the structural steel and site paving is nearly complete.

The campus is one of four elementary schools — Braeburn, Mitchell, Scarborough, and Kolter — being rebuilt as a result of damages sustained in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey.

“Although Harvey tested our resiliency, it also created an opportunity for our community to be blessed with a new school for our very deserving students,” Mitchell Principal Elizabeth Castillo said. “We are so eager as we watch the progress of our building.  With the foundation being poured, we know that our Mitchell 3.0 will be a beacon of hope as we work to revitalize our community after Harvey.”

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Steel structure placed in Kolter ES

Construction continues at Kolter Elementary School with structural steel of the new building nearly complete.

Crews will now begin the installation of both the first- and second-floor slabs. Exterior wall framing will begin next month.

“Watching the beams and framing come to life has made all the difference,” Kolter Principal Julie Dickinson said. “It’s so exciting to see a second floor and to begin to visualize learning spaces and common areas. I can’t believe we’re less than a year away from moving into our new school home.”

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Construction continues at Scarborough ES

Work is progressing at Scarborough Elementary School with the building foundation and hollow core plank installation now complete.

Installation of the first and second-floor slabs are in progress.

Scarborough is one of four elementary schools — including Braeburn, Mitchell, and Kolter — being rebuilt as a result of damages sustained in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey.

Scarborough Principal Miriam Medina said the news of the construction progress has made the school community feel a sense of anticipation.

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Construction progresses at Braeburn ES

Steel structures and concrete slabs are now underway at the new Braeburn Elementary School with the installation of underground utilities and floor planks completed.

The campus is one of four elementary schools — Braeburn, Mitchell, Scarborough, and Kolter — being rebuilt as a result of damages sustained in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey.

“Our community and staff are excited to see our school building come to life from the ground up,” Braeburn Principal Amanda Rodgers said. “Now that the foundation is being set, it’s getting even easier to envision what our future home will look like. We look forward to returning to our neighborhood soon.”

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Bond Oversight Committee members receive program update, tour Barbara Jordan Career Center

The HISD Bond Oversight Committee got an up-close look at the new Barbara Jordan Career Center during their second quarter meeting Tuesday.  

Committee members made their way up the school’s modern learning stairs and through hallways filled with natural light and turquoise accent walls. The group took pictures along the way and tried on a simulator helmet in the welding classroom.   

The tour — led by Principal Ross McAlpine, HISD Construction Services Senior Manager Sizwe Lewis, and HISD Project Manager Zorana Marquez-Campos — made stops in the school’s health science classroom, and cosmetology, automotive and diesel, culinary, welding, and construction management labs.  

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2012 Bond Program nears completion

Almost seven years after Houston voters approved a $1.89 billion bond to replace and repair 40 schools across the district, including 29 high schools, the 2012 Bond Program is coming to a close.  

Only four schools remain under active construction as part of their original scope of work – Northside, Lamar, Austin, and Bellaire high schools. 

“We’re excited about the work we’ve done over the summer,” Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders said. “We’re proud of the 21stcentury learning spaces we’ve created.” 

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Lamar HS construction reaches 80 percent completion

In 2017, Lamar High School celebrated its 80th anniversary with a groundbreaking ceremony. Now the school’s construction has reached nearly 80 percent completion, with doors of the school’s new academic building opening to students for the 2019-2020 school year.

Both painting and flooring in the gymnasium is underway along with the installation of first- and second-floor ceilings, culinary and dining equipment, and joining the new building addition’s HVAC to the existing facility.   

Phased renovations to the existing facility are also in progress and an enclosed second-story skybridge connecting the two buildings is set for completion in August. 

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Northside HS on track for August 2019 opening

With a slated opening for the 2019-2020 school year, construction on Northside High School is now 90 percent complete.

The school’s science and art rooms and bus canopy are complete. Interior finishes in the performance arts wing, first floor classroom renovations, landscaping, and parking are nearly complete. In addition, stairwell upgrades in the historic building are underway.

The $66 million project is part of the voter-approved 2012 Bond program and calls for two new additions along with renovations to the original building, built in 1928.

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Barbara Jordan Career Center celebrates grand opening with unique ribbon-cutting experience

Barbara Jordan Career Center rolled out the red carpet for guests on Wednesday to celebrate the grand opening of its new building.

The event was held in the school’s state-of-the-art welding center where students awed guests by welding through a brightly colored metal strip, which took the place of a traditional ceremonial ribbon.

“Moving to this new facility has energized adults and students alike,” Principal Ross McAlpine told guests. “Each day I witness teachers transforming their classrooms and labs into wonderful learning environments. And every day students approach me to let me know how much they enjoy the opportunities that Barbara Jordan offers them.”

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