Category Archives: Facilities Services

National Wildlife Federation grant deadlines approaching

The National Wildlife Federation is offering two grant opportunities for HISD schools. Applications are due Monday, June 15.

One grant focuses on secondary schools interested in developing nature-based solutions to community stormwater runoff or flooding. The second is open to all grade levels and emphases energy literacy.

Energy and Sustainability Quality Assurance Analyst Stephanie Walker said schools should apply despite the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

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HISD district headquarters closing Monday for sanitizing following confirmed COVID-19 case

The Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center located at 4400 W. 18th St. will close Monday, June 8 at 1 p.m. due to a confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus.

The closure will allow time for the support facility to undergo a deep cleaning and sanitization before re-opening for regular business hours on Tuesday, June 9.

Though few employees have been in the office, those who were impacted are being notified and instructed to self-quarantine in accordance with public health guidelines.

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Facility tour showcases how Nutrition Services is mobilizing to safely feed families

When Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan arrived at the HISD Hexser T. Holliday Food Service Center, she was eager to tour facility operations, but precautions had to be taken first.

Upon entering the facility, her temperature was taken just footsteps inside the door — a safety precaution and clear sign of the times as the world endures the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the weeks since our district closed, we’ve worked hard to meet the needs of our community,” Lathan said. “This visit is a great opportunity to get an up-close look at how the entire food distribution process begins.”

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Trustees approve comprehensive facilities assessment to address aging infrastructure across the district 

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a comprehensive, districtwide facilities assessment designed to aid administrators as they prepare to address aging infrastructure across the district.

Facing more than $4.7 billion in deferred maintenance needs, the assessment data will be used to drive the district’s response to maintenance issues, safety concerns, student population growth, and building capacity needs, as well vertical curriculum alignment and educational equity.

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FMO Code Compliance team focuses on keeping students, staff safe

In the course of just one day, Code Compliance team members receive a variety of calls — reports of broken elevators, overflowing trash receptacles, and even fire code violations.  

But for the eight-member team, it’s all in a day’s work. 

“It’s about life safety,” said Code Compliance Area Manager Anne Washington, who leads the team. “We’re behind the scenes, but our job is to make sure that we are in compliance with fire codes so that in an emergency, the staff and students can get out of the building safely.” 

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HISD students save butterflies through Monarch Heroes program

As clouds of monarch butterflies migrate south for the winter, many of them pass through Houston, where a special program allows HISD students to provide nectar-rich flowers and milkweed to nourish them. 

Twenty-one HISD schools are participating in the Monarch Heroes program this school year, allowing students to create monarch habitat gardens to reverse the decline of the species.  

The two-year program is part of the National Wildlife Federation Eco-Schools USA Program, the nation’s largest comprehensive green school program. 

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HISD Direct Digital Control team keeps HVAC systems going

When the air conditioning at Atherton Elementary School was running after hours, Direct Digital Control Field Technician Dustin Agnew headed to the campus to find out why.   

Agnew first checked the master control panel and the variable-frequency drives, making sure everything was set to “auto.” He then went outside to inspect the chillers and quickly found the problem — both were running, but only one was supposed to be on.  

“I enjoy figuring out what’s wrong, because it could be so many different elements,” he said. 

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Veteran crossing guard creates community connections while keeping students safe

Crossing Guard Charlethia Vaughn is nearly a permanent fixture at the corner of Walnut Bend Lane and Briar Forest Drive during the school year.  

Every morning and afternoon, she is there to help Walnut Bend Elementary School students and their parents cross the busy street — even when the Texas heat is nearly unbearable, when the skies are pouring rain, or when it’s so cold, her fingers get numb. 

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” she said. “This community has really embraced me.”  

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Northside HS students start new school year in renovated facility

Northside High School students steadily filed into the commons on Monday and lined up behind a bank of white tables, eager to pick up schedules, find friends, and get a first glimpse of the new campus. 

Standing just behind the tables was Assistant Principal Victor Okoli, armed with a floor plan and ready to help students navigate the new facility. 

Principal Cecilia Gonzales stood just a few feet away, watching over the process, welcoming students back to school, and guiding them through new, brightly colored hallways.  

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Facilities Services Security Maintenance team protects HISD

The Security Maintenance office looks like any other, with computers, cubicles, and conference rooms. You might never know that it houses HISD’s first line of defense against burglars, fires, floods, and natural disasters.

Part of Facilities Services and Fleet Operations, Security Maintenance is responsible for ensuring safety and security systems and equipment are fully functioning.

The department provides routine maintenance and emergency repairs on all safety equipment, such as cameras and alarm panels. It oversees and coordinates annual fire alarm, intercom, and fire extinguisher inspections. The team also works closely with HISD Construction Services to bring safety systems online in new and renovated schools.

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