Construction at Bellaire High School marked a significant construction milestone this month, as the new building reached its topping out point.
Topping out refers to the act of placing the last steel beam atop a structure’s highest point. Bellaire students, faculty, and alumni celebrated the occasion by signing a large white beam that was then placed above what will become the school’s natatorium.
“Having the Class of 2020, our faculty, staff, alumni, and friends sign the beam was a wonderful gesture to ensure that all the elements that make a school community will forever be a part of this new building,” Bellaire Principal Michael McDonough said.
HISD Bond Oversight Committee members toured the new Wharton Dual Language Academy during their quarterly meeting Tuesday, getting an inside look at the building that opened its doors to students just four months ago.
Wharton Principal Jennifer Day and HISD Construction Services Senior Manager Meredith Smith led the group around the colorful building, making stops in classrooms, science and computer labs, and art and music rooms, as well as the cafeteria, gym, and library.
The sun shone brightly upon Bellaire High School students,
staff, and community members Tuesday as they gathered for the long-awaited
groundbreaking ceremony in honor of their new school.
“While the road has been challenging and the process
arduous, I believe that we are now ready to build a school that exceeds our
initial expectations and that will propel our students into the future,” Principal
Michael McDonough said.
Community members gathered in the Bellaire High School auditorium to witness the unveiling of the new school building’s design.
Bellaire’s $132 million project is a part of the 2012 Bond Program. The new building will feature a new three-story academic wing – containing classroom and administrative spaces – along with multiple flexible learning areas for group collaboration, library with makerspace, two gymnasiums, and an exterior courtyard.
“I think the renderings are amazing,” Bellaire Principal Michael McDonough said. “When you see the shared spaces, you think community, and when the students are together as a community, it invigorates school pride.”
Excavators roared to life at Bellaire High School last month, marking the beginning of construction on the new facility and a significant milestone in the 2012 Bond Program, as all remaining projects are now underway.
The first phase of construction — also known as pre-construction — includes installation of underground detention and site utilities, demolition of the Career and Technology Education building, and creation of a temporary parking area to replace the South Rice Boulevard lot, which will become part of the construction site. Continue reading →
The Bellaire City Council has approved an updated site plan and traffic study for the new Bellaire High School and granted a permit for the property, meaning construction on the facility could begin as early as next summer.
The approval of the specific-use permit by the city effectively clears the last hurdle in the design process for the new high school, being rebuilt under HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program.
“After all the work we’ve put into this project to build consensus amongst all of our stakeholders, we are thrilled to finally get the green light from the City of Bellaire and begin moving forward,” Bellaire Principal Michael McDonough said. “This is a huge step forward for our students, our school, and our community.”
The Houston Independent School District is moving forward with a plan to rebuild Bellaire High School at its current location on South Rice Boulevard and has formally submitted applications to the City of Bellaire for required permits and variances.
The first stop for the project proposal will be the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on June 13, when the request for a Specific Use permit will be considered. In addition, the district is seeking variances from the Board of Adjustments that would allow construction of a building of approximately 434,000 square feet with up to four stories on some portions toward the interior of the site.
The Board of Adjustments meeting is June 15. If the Specific Use permit and variances are approved, the project then could head to the Bellaire City Council in August for a public hearing and final vote.
Hundreds of debate teams from around the world entered the 2015–16 International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) competition, but only 16 remain — including HISD’s Bellaire High School. If Bellaire advances in the next round, the team will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City on April 2.
Sponsored by the Brewer Foundation and New York University, the IPPF is the first and only competition that gives high school students from around the world the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy. By advancing, the students remain eligible to win a $10,000 grand prize. The Bellaire High School team is one of only two teams from Texas to advance this round.
Coach Granvil “Wayne” Tedder has been guiding HISD athletes to greatness for more than 30 years, but on Jan. 22, district officials and students took time out to honor him, with a special ceremony held at Bellaire High School to induct him into the HISD and Houston Coaches Association Hall of Honor.
“It is quite an honor to be recognized by your peers, players, and friends,” said Tedder. “No one in my family graduated from high school except me. But I had coaches who helped me out, so I have dedicated my life to giving back what was given to me: love, knowledge, and commitment.”
The Bellaire High School project will now be moving forward, thanks to the Board of Education’s decision to approve the supplemental funding proposal.
The goal is to resume Project Advisory Team meetings in the new year to continue schematic design of the project. Another community meeting would be held to discuss design progress in mid- to late 2016.
Construction is expected to start in 2017. The work will take at least 31 months, but could last longer depending on how the construction is phased.