For more than 80 years, the red-bricked Austin High School
has been a mainstay in the Eastwood community. With construction nearing
completion, the new school now strikes a balance of the past and present.
The $80.9 million project features modern classrooms,
flexible learning spaces, and sound and lighting upgrades to the existing
auditorium. The Art Deco-influenced façade also has been preserved and
refurbished as a part of the project.
“This school has been here for more than 80 years. It was
important to keep a part of this building that has been present in this
community for so long,” Austin Principal Steve Guerrero said. “The entire
building is just phenomenal. It feels very grand with lots of natural light.
Every single part of the building is exciting.”
The new Austin High School is now scheduled to open in
January 2021 — a delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The school was originally scheduled to open in August 2020.
HISD Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders said the new timeline was
due to a three-month delay in the school’s furniture shipment and manpower
shortages caused by mandated social distancing requirements resulting from the
Austin will remain at its current temporary learning center
located across South Lockwood Drive until the new facility opens.
Construction at Lamar High School is continuing, as
allowable under the public health guidelines, with renovations to the original
building now 80 percent complete.
The renovation work, designed to preserve the building’s historically
significant architecture, included the construction of a new child care wing,
welcome center, and updated ROTC and Career and Technical Education classrooms.
The athletic fields — including football, baseball,
softball, soccer practice fields — and tennis courts also are underway.
Construction at the new Scarborough Elementary School is
steadily progressing, despite the district being closed due to the COVID-19
Work on the campus has continued, as allowable under the public
health guidelines, with a reduction of the workforce to adhere to social
The $23 million project is tracking at 94 percent
completion, with site work, paving, underground utilities, structural steel, roofing,
interior wall systems, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installation
complete. Exterior wall systems and interior finishes are ongoing.
With most of the country shut down in an attempt to flatten the COVID-19 curve, HISD’s Construction Services — designated an essential service — is continuing to work on school construction across the district.
HISD Construction General Manager Andreas Peeples said
construction is expected to continue as allowable under public health
guidelines but noted that required public health measures are affecting normal
“We must comply with requirements that individuals must remain
at least six feet from any other person,” Peeples said. “This is important, but
it does result in inefficiencies in mobilizing labor and materials and a
general reduction in labor forces.”
The Houston Independent School District’s Communications department earned top honors for its work in communications and community engagement during the 2020 Texas School Public Relations Association Annual Conference in Austin.
The accolades covered nearly all facets of communications, including writing, videography, graphic design, marketing, branding, and special events.
“As the storytellers of HISD, we are passionate about sharing the inspiring stories of our resilient students, hard-working teachers, and empowering leaders,” said Chief Communications Officer Rebecca Suarez. “I am extremely proud of our Communications Team for their creative lens and clear focus on promoting the district’s strategic priorities to help student succeed.”
Upbeat music blared through the speakers of the Northside High School dance studio as the Dancing Pantherettes showcased their new studio space for Bond Oversight Committee members.
Led by Northside Principal Cecilia Gonzales, Associate Principal Victor Okoli, and Construction Services Senior Manager Sizwe Lewis, the tour of the new Northside also featured the new fine arts wing, black box theater, TV production room, and culinary kitchen.
After the tour, Northside culinary arts students served a buffet-style, made-from-scratch breakfast — including biscuits, scones, eggs, bacon, sausage, and fruit — to showcase their magnet for culinary arts, hotel management, and media.