Tag Archives: 2007 bond

Lockhart ES Dedicates School Built Under 2007 Bond Program

More than 300 people turned out to Lockhart Elementary on Thursday to formally dedicate the new building, which opened to students in Houston’s Third Ward last year.

The event drew students and families, as well as a long list of Lockhart supporters, including HISD Trustee Paula M. Harris and the Rev. William Lawson, pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church.

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2012 Bond Campuses Using Environmental Design to Keep Schools Safe

At DeChaumes Elementary School, the main entrance to the school is controlled through an intercom system and two sets of locked doors.

The design process has started for the first phase of HISD’s 2012 bond program, and district officials plan to incorporate crime prevention through environmental design on all 40 campuses under the $1.89 billion bond project.

“We’re going to create safe and secure environments for our students and faculty,” HISD’s General Manager for Facilities Planning Sue Robertson said. “That doesn’t mean creating prison-like environments, but including common-sense applications.”

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Reagan K-8 Officially Dedicated, Honoring Former HISD Superintendent


HISD Trustee Larry Marshall, from left, Principal Joyce Williams, Billy Reagan, HISD Superintendent Terry Grier, and Chief School Officer Chip Zullinger cut the ribbon on the new Billy Reagan K-8 Educational Center. For more photos of the dedication, click here.


The doors of Billy Reagan K-8 Educational Center opened for students in August, but on Wednesday, the school community got a chance to celebrate the new school with its official dedication.

More than 200 people, including neighbors, parents, faculty, and HISD officials, attended the ceremony at the campus off Anderson Road to recognize the new campus and honor the school’s namesake, former HISD superintendent Billy Reagan. During his opening remarks, Superintendent Terry Grier said Reagan made significant contributions to education in the city of Houston and across the country.

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HISD hosts info sessions on doing business with district

More than two dozen people turned out to Milby High School Wednesday to learn about doing business with the Houston Independent School District, with a special emphasis on how to avoid costly errors.

Those in attendance Wednesday afternoon included architects, engineers, other professional service providers and construction contractors.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to learn how to do business with HISD and to learn more about our 2012 bond program,” said Alexis Licata, general manager of Business Assistance. “We want to ensure that all vendors understand the procurement process and the bidding opportunities.”

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Sam Houston MSTC dedicates new technology wing

A new wing of learning space, laboratories, and a large lecture hall was dedicated recently at Sam Houston Math, Science and Technology Center.

The new wing has a footprint of more than 29,000 square feet and was built with about $11.6 million in funding generated by the 2007 bond program.

“Teachers can have the up-to-date resources they need to lead students on their road to success,” said Mariana Mendoza, former president of the Sam Houston Parent-Student Association. “We remind the parents and students in this community of the importance of being involved and voting in the upcoming election.”

The school, located at 9400 Irvington, is among 38 schools that would be affected should voters approve the 2012 bond program, which is the last item on the general election ballot. Sam Houston would receive about $101.4 million to build a new school that would incorporate the new wing.

“It is our partnership with the community that ensures Sam Houston is on the verge of the 21st Century,” said Orlando Riddick, HISD’s chief school officer. “I appreciate the efforts put in here to keep us going.”

The new area also includes more parking area and the latest safety features for its advanced learning labs.

Grady Middle School dedicates new addition


The collaborative efforts of the Grady Middle School community, along with those who designed and built the new facility, were all praised Monday morning at an official dedication ceremony for the school’s newest addition.

Light from the mid-morning sun served as the backdrop for the ceremony that included performances from the Grady band and theater groups.  Working together as the students did was also how community members worked with HISD and school staff, as well as the building’s architects and designers, said HISD Board of Education member Harvin Moore.

“It’s really very, very important that decisions be made that involve the people that are really going to live with it,” Moore said. “The parents, the neighbors and the faculty and teachers. They know about educational needs and the academic design of a great school.”

Grady’s new building includes a library, cafetorium, gymnasium, music room and new administration offices. In total, the building cost about $13.7 million, paid for with funds from the 2007 bond program.

Students aren’t the only ones who get to enjoy the new school, though, said Grady principal Gretchen Kasper-Hoffman.

“People love it. They’re so excited to see this on the corner. They enjoy driving by and seeing such a lovely building and knowing that the kids are learning,” she said. “It wasn’t horrible before, but now, it’s just something that sticks out and the community can be proud that this is our middle school.”

The school, located at 5215 San Felipe Street on the city’s near West side, now has some facilities that are either on par or best those of nearby private schools, said Moore, who specifically cited the quality of Grady’s new music room.

Moore also reminded those in attendance that the new addition was only the first phase of construction planned for Grady, noting the second phase of the plan was among those projects listed in the 2012 bond program.

In the proposed plan, Grady would receive $14.8 million to complete renovations around the school and replace 23 temporary buildings currently being used for classroom instruction. The project is among 38 total projects in the $1.89 billion proposed bond program, scheduled to go before the voters in November.

Kennedy Elementary officially dedicated Wednesday morning


Most of the 44 presidents in the history of the United States appeared Thursday morning for the official dedication of John F. Kennedy Elementary School, even if they were only student portrayals of the chief executives.

Students performed skits and gave even shorter speeches about the importance of education, public service and the historical biographies of a few of the former presidents, including a longer production involving students portraying the school’s namesake and his family.

Throughout the speeches by various HISD staff and community members, nearly all of them spoke of the dedication of Kennedy’s staff and administrators in educating children.

The stage performances were done with accompaniment by the Waltrip High School band.

Students from Kennedy Elementary’s fledgling band program sat and performed with their elders, a point that wasn’t lost on Sam Sarabia, HISD’s chief elementary schools’ officer.

Sarabia said that as he sat earlier watching the band perform, he could see Kennedy’s students absorbing the moment, watching how they played with passion. He implored the older students to recognize and accept their role as models for those who come after them, as parents and community members had done before for them.

The school, which officially opened after winter break earlier this year, serves about 750 students. And the school serves them well, as evidenced by the multiple years of exemplary and recognized status marked on the first wall to greet visitors driving to the school.

The two-story building is a combination of the former Kennedy and Allen elementaries built with approximately $17.2 million approved by voters in the 2007 bond program.

“Where we came from, the building was 48 years old, we had rain falling on us, we had possums in the building some mornings, and now we walk on terrazzo floors… the (air conditioning) works,” said Kennedy Elementary principal Daryl Sherman. “And everyone has technology to use for instruction. I think every child in HISD deserves that.”

The library and media center serve as the hub of the school, drawing students and visitors to its circular center and serving as a catalyst for children to read early and often.

“I’ve not had one tour where people weren’t wowed,” Sherman said. “When we were planning the building, we wanted to do something special. We have the library as the focus of the school. Reading is in everything we do. We know that when students are successful readers, then they’re successful throughout their life.”

The new Kennedy Elementary was built in such a way that it’s expected to require about 20 percent less energy to operate. Nearly every classroom, including special rooms for art, music and computer instruction, has clear views into the rooms for observation as well as windows for natural light and views to the outside.

Lewis Elementary School officially dedicated

Judd M. Lewis Elementary was the scene of a small gathering Monday morning to officially cut the ribbon on a new school that has been serving more than 900 students daily for nearly a year.

A handful of teachers, students, Houston ISD staff and dignitaries heard about the history of the school and its namesake, and a few of the more important features of the school built with funds from the 2007 bond program.

See more photos of the Lewis Elementary dedication ceremony by Damon Jasso of Ortiz Middle School.

Those who were in the school’s new library could only see a few of the major additions to the new two-story Lewis Elementary.

Technology and its assistance in classroom instruction were one of the key features of the new school, said principal Tonya Woods.

“This library!” said Woods. “The reading, the opportunities; we have thousands of resources just in the library alone. We have three mobile labs where (the students) can check out the computers in the classroom.

“We’re technology rich,” she said. “Everything is identical, giving the students the understanding that ‘you’re important,’… your learning is important to us and we value you.”

In addition to the upgraded technology, the school features multiple science and computer labs, as well as both a music and art lab. The school also includes a stage with a training room for drama students.

“The previous school looked nothing like this one, and as one of the young students here today said, it was the nicest building he’s ever been in,” said HISD Board of Education member Manuel Rodriguez Jr.

Rodriguez Jr. used the occasion to mention how the new school was built after voters approved a bond program in 2007. He also talked about how others, including nearby Austin and Milby high schools, would benefit should the electorate choose to support a $1.89 billion bond program on the November ballot.

“We need to have the type of schools that bring and attract new people and new firms to our area to be able to have a quality education for those children coming in, and for our own, because we will have leaders coming out of these schools,” he said. “I never expected to be on the school board when I was in high school, and here I am.”

As you approach the new school on Houston’s southeast side, you expect to see the features of a new school, but it’s some of the subtle touches that stand out first.

Pillars of baby blue hold up wavy, red colored walkways in front of a brick facade. There are multiple bike racks across the campus perimeter to encourage its student population — many of whom live less than a mile from campus — to walk or bike to school, and there’s a large covered play area off to the side.

Even still, you expect touches like that in a new school. It’s the inside of the year-old school that stands out. As you walk in, you’re greeted with a giant mural of a lion resting among a floral garden. The mural, produced by Houston artist Dixie Friend Gay, covers a 14’ by 14’ wall above the second set of double-doors to the school.

The new campus replaced one built in 1958 and named for the first poet laureate of Texas.

See photos of the Worthing HS groundbreaking

The Sunnyside community, volunteers, students and HISD Board of Education Trustee Lawrence Marshall were on hand for the the official groundbreaking for the expansion and renovation of Evan E. Worthing High School on Wednesday, March 21. See photos from the event below.

HISD to Break Ground on Worthing High School Expansion

Administrators, staff, alumni, students and Sunnyside neighborhood residents will be joined by HISD Board of Education District IX Trustee Larry Marshall for the official groundbreaking ceremony  for Worthing High School’s renovation and expansion on Wednesday, March 21 at 10 a.m. at 9215 Scott Street.           

            “Sunnyside is a proud community with close-knit ties to successful people across the United States,” Marshall said.  “We are delighted to be able to welcome them to the site of the new and improved Worthing High School.  It’s been a dream for these residents for a long time.”

            State Senator Rodney Ellis, a distinguished graduate of Worthing, and State Rep. Borris Miles will be joining the Worthing community for this special ceremony. 

            The project includes a new two-story classroom addition, safety and security upgrades, technology improvements, and roof repairs, in addition to repairs of the athletic track.

“This new school building, with the renovated commons and auditorium, will definitely be a source of pride for the residents of Sunnyside,” said Worthing Principal Tod Nix.  “Most importantly, this is something our students are going to be proud of and enjoy every school day.”

            The $805 million bond referendum approved by voters in 2007 has helped make this Worthing project possible. The expanded and renovated campus will include:

  • New library;
  • Additional technological resources;
  • New science labs; and
  • New commons area.

            The campus’ old life skills building will become the new Worthing Community Learning Center, a student union-type structure that will include study rooms, recreation areas, and meeting space.  This center will serve all the children of Sunnyside, including those attending some of the area elementary and middle schools.

For more information about other school construction projects district wide, visit www.hisdprojects.org.