The new Mitchell Elementary School is more than halfway complete, and the building will be ready for the school’s young leaders to move in this summer.
The $23 million project is tracking at 60 percent completion with site work, paving, underground utilities, structural steel, and fireproofing complete. Exterior and interior wall systems, roofing, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing installation are ongoing.
The building is enclosed and interior finishes, such as flooring and ceilings, are expected to begin this quarter, as well as insulation under the building.
Special Events Planner Nicole Bean has always been an organizer at heart, and that’s how she approaches scheduling and planning events in HISD’s catering department Houston Eats.
Bean is responsible for planning and overseeing events and creating the orders for them. Her attention to detail and ability to accommodate the needs of Houston Eats’ customers has proven to be an asset in her role.
“If you have 30 schools that want something all at the same time, it’s physically hard to be at all those places,” Bean said. “We only have so many delivery vans, so we have to be really creative in how we schedule. We also offer pickups. We really do try to accommodate everybody.”
The new Kolter Elementary School will soon be ready for students, teachers, and staff to move in and the Cougars can hardly wait to be back home.
The $23 million project is tracking at 72 percent completion and slated to be occupied by this summer. Structural steel, roofing, and fireproofing will wrap up this quarter. Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installation is 81 percent complete.
“We’re only five months away from being able to move into our new school home and we’re thrilled,” Kolter Principal Julie Dickinson said.
Construction at the new Braeburn Elementary School is steadily progressing and the building will be ready for the Bobcats to move in this summer.
The $30 million project is tracking at 65 percent completion with fireproofing complete and structural steel and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installation to wrap this quarter. Roofing and interior framing are more than 75 percent complete and paving will be completed this month.
The building is enclosed and interior finishes, such as flooring and ceilings, are expected to begin this quarter.
Growing up during the late 1970s and 1980s in Houston’s South Park neighborhood, Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby and his childhood friends could never tell that anyone around them was going without or in need.
It wasn’t until he was an adult, he said, that he came to understand more about some of the choices that his family had to make — like always cooking at home and never eating out — to stay within their budget.
“There are a lot of families that go without food during the holidays,” Busby said. “It’s important for us to do what we can do address their needs, especially during the holiday season.”
The meals served to HISD students undertake a unique journey before arriving at school cafeterias, and Research and Development Chef Christopher Keegan is an essential part of that process.
Keegan is responsible for producing tasty creations that are nutritious, cost-effective, easy to prepare at the school level, and have accessible ingredients.
“I enjoy coming up with dishes that don’t look like school food,” said Keegan, who works for HISD’s Nutrition Services. “I’m constantly looking through magazines and cookbooks. We’re starting to do more international dishes, and we’re also looking at some vegan recipes.”
School may be out for winter break, but cafeterias will be open at five HISD high schools, where Nutrition Services will offer meals free of charge for all children ages 1 to 18.
Booker T. Washington, Chavez and Madison high schools will serve breakfast and lunch during winter break. Additionally, Yates High School will serve lunch only, and Revere Middle School will serve breakfast only. Children ages 1 to 18 can enjoy a healthy breakfast and lunch at no charge, while adults can purchase breakfast for $2.75 and lunch for $4.
“We know our students can’t learn and thrive without
healthy food to fuel them — and that need does not stop just because schools
close for the winter break,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said.
“Ensuring student health, safety, and well-being is one of our strategic
priorities, and this program takes us one step closer to achieving our goal.”
The Houston Independent School District’s Transportation Services department will spend the new year focusing on recruitment efforts as it works to hire 30 more drivers by March.
The department will begin hosting monthly bus driver job fairs in February 2020 as part of continuing efforts to make sure all routes are fully staffed, and additional drivers are available to provide coverage when employees are absent.
Transportation Services General Manager John Wilcots IV said three job fairs will be held each month — one on a Saturday and two on weekdays. The upcoming job fairs are expected to give the department a head start on staffing for the summer and the 2020-2021 school year.
Following a purple carpeted path, students, staff, and community members walked through an inflatable Panther tunnel, that led to a dining commons area decorated with purple and silver balloons in celebration of the Northside High School grand opening ceremony.
Festive holiday music filled the space as guests heard student performances from the Northside High School Jazz Band, Dancing Pantherettes, Choir, Ballet Folklórico, and Cheerleaders.
“This campus not only allows us to clearly express ourselves, but it inspires us to be more creative,” Northside Senior Jacquelin Ricalday said. “It’s great for current students, future students, and our community overall.”