Tag Archives: 21st century schools

Capital Planning Steering Committee extends application deadline to Oct.15

The Houston Independent School District is seeking volunteers to serve on the 2021-2022 Capital Planning Steering Committee as it looks to address almost $5 million in deferred maintenance needs.

The steering committee — an independent citizens committee made up of community members — will be tasked with providing strategic direction, feedback, and guidance to the district as it prepares to address needs identified in the 2021 facilities assessment.

The committee will have up to 25 members representing all nine Board of Education trustee districts. Appointments will last for one year — or the duration of the 2021-2022 Capital Planning Steering Process.

“The Capital Planning Steering Committee will play a critical, strategic role in moving this district forward,” HISD Superintendent Millard House II said. “Their charge will be to develop recommendations that provide all students with equitable access to modern, innovative, and safe learning spaces.”

To apply, candidates must complete and submit the Capital Planning Steering Committee Application by close of business on Friday, Oct. 15. Special preference will be given to:

  • Candidates with expertise in building design, engineering, construction, construction project management, safety and security, and finance
  • Candidates who are active representative business or community organizations in the district
  • Parents/guardians who have children enrolled in the district and are active in a parent-teacher organization

A panel of senior district administrator will review applications and make recommendations to the superintendent, who will make final appointments. Committee appointments will be announced on Monday, Oct. 25.

Members will meet monthly — and more often, if needed — from November through April. Meetings are tentatively scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month.

Review the 2021-2022 Capital Planning Steering Committee Guidelines for more information about committee requirements, membership eligibility, and the application process.

New building, classrooms impress Bellaire HS students

The familiar hoots and hollers of classmates returning to campus on the first day of school were replaced by “oohs” and “aahs” as students entered the new Bellaire High School for the first time on Monday.

Eleventh-grader Carter Sasser said everyone gathered at school early to meet up with friends and get their first glimpse of the new building.

“This place is impressive, especially the new pool and gym and the new lockers,” Sasser said. “The stairs are commons areas we didn’t have in the old building.”

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Austin HS students start new year in new school

Austin High School seniors Daniel Miranda and Jesus Cantu greeted each other as they made their way through their school’s dining commons, stopping to soak in their new surroundings before the first bell rang.

“It looks futuristic,” Miranda said, first looking up at the contemporary lighting and then down below at the dining tabletops featuring the school’s mustang mascot.

“Futuristic?” Cantu asked with a laugh. “I think you mean modern.”

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New Austin HS set to open after winter break

There are many features that Principal Orlando Reyna finds impressive about the newly constructed Austin High School, but the contemporary courtyard is by far one of his favorites.

“It just looks amazing,” Reyna said, smiling at the thought of it. “I anticipate it’s going to be a popular space for us to utilize and for students to congregate.”

After a semester-long delay due to pandemic-related manpower and delivery issues, Austin High School is finally set to open its doors to students on Wednesday, Jan. 6, following their return from winter break.

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Eight years later: A look back at designing schools for learning

These certainly aren’t your grandmothers’ schools.

At least that’s how Dan Bankhead, General Manager for Facilities Design, describes the newly redesigned schools built under the 2012 Bond Program.

A sharp contrast from the original buildings, classrooms are now bright, spacious, and flooded with natural light. Bold colors adorn the floors and walls. Shared spaces are reminiscent of trendy hotel lobbies and cafés.

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Bellaire Cardinals inch closer to new athletic fields, school

Bellaire High School took a significant step toward the next phase of construction last month when the city approved a specific use permit allowing for the build of the high school’s new baseball and softball fields at 6300 Avenue B.

Abatement and demolition of the former Gordon Elementary School will begin soon to make way for the new fields.

The athletic fields are part of the 2012 Bond Program, which called for a rebuild of Bellaire’s existing school, which has been in use since 1955. Design plans for the $141.5 million, multi-phased project included the relocation of the baseball and softball fields to a site about two miles away to maximize space on the existing 18-acre campus.

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Scarborough ES welcomes Huskies to new home

A group of enthusiastic teachers clad in blue Huskies t-shirts cheered as students arrived at the new Scarborough Elementary School for the first time on Monday.

After undergoing temperature checks, the students marveled at their new surroundings and the colorful bilingual welcome signs awaiting them.

Fourth-grader Elizabeth Garza wore a black mask imprinted with the smile of a Cheshire cat, but the sparkle in her eyes made it clear she was smiling just as wide underneath it.

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As construction nears completion, Austin HS looks to the future

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.”

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Austin HS to open in January 2021 due to COVID-19

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 COVID-19 pandemic.

Austin will remain at its current temporary learning center located across South Lockwood Drive until the new facility opens.

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Yates HS pool construction passes halfway mark

It’s been several years since students at Yates High School had a swim team. But with the completion of the school’s new natatorium set for April, students are one step closer to making that team a reality once again. 

Construction on the school’s natatorium and four-lane practice pool is 55 percent complete. The building’s exterior walls – which feature large garage-style overhead coiling doors that allow fresh air inside and have fencing at each opening to maintain a secure perimeter — were built first to ensure interior pool construction would not be affected by wet weather.  

The pool’s concrete foundation was laid in January, and pool walls are now being constructed. The project is expected to wrap up later this semester. 

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