Braeburn Elementary School teacher Sandy Trejo was not expecting the sights and sounds that greeted her when she stepped outside of the school on Tuesday.
As students waved handmade signs of congratulations, a mini parade of brightly decorated cars snaked through the parking lot, blaring their horns to honor the first-grade ESL teacher as the district’s Teacher of the Month for May.
Neymar Gonzalez could barely contain his excitement.
The Braeburn Elementary School third-grader vigorously clapped his hands as a five-minute countdown launched on the big screen at the front of his classroom.
“Yay! Five minutes until showtime!” Gonzalez squealed. “I’m so excited!”
Similar excitement was felt throughout the school on Friday afternoon as students celebrated the premiere of their school’s virtual grand opening — a specially themed “Bobcat News” segment — with cupcakes and classroom watch parties.
The virtual event officially marked the beginning of a new chapter for Braeburn, which was among four HISD elementary schools that had to be demolished and rebuilt after sustaining significant damage during Hurricane Harvey.
Construction at the new Braeburn Elementary School is steadily progressing and the building will be ready for the Bobcats to move in this summer.
The $30 million project is tracking at 65 percent completion with fireproofing complete and structural steel and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installation to wrap this quarter. Roofing and interior framing are more than 75 percent complete and paving will be completed this month.
The building is enclosed and interior finishes, such as flooring and ceilings, are expected to begin this quarter.
Braeburn Elementary School students clad in bright green T-shirts braved the summer sun Saturday as they converged on a construction site that was once home to their old school.
The students sat with parents and friends, some under umbrellas and sipping ice-cold water, and gazed in amazement at the site before them — two stories of steel beams that soon will be transformed into their new school.
“We are so happy that this building will be our final Braeburn campus and the best one yet,” said fourth-grader Oscar Perez, whose words were then translated by fourth-grader Stanley Jimenez for the largely Spanish-speaking crowd. “When we saw the blueprint for our new school, we almost couldn’t believe that we would get to learn in such a beautiful building.”
Nearly three feet of water rippled through freshly painted hallways, carrying brightly colored classroom decorations that fell from wet walls. Bookshelves collapsed and spilled its contents, and desks were scattered about by the force of the water.
It’s been two years since that scenario played out at four HISD elementary schools — Braeburn, Mitchell, Scarborough, and Kolter.
Just as faculty and staff at each school had prepared for their newest group of students, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast. The storm inflicted damage so significant that students and staff had to be relocated to temporary campuses.
Steel structures and concrete slabs are now underway at the new Braeburn Elementary School with the installation of underground utilities and floor planks completed.
The campus is one of four elementary schools — Braeburn,
Mitchell, Scarborough, and Kolter — being rebuilt as a result of damages
sustained in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey.
“Our community and staff are excited to see our school building come to life from the ground up,” Braeburn Principal Amanda Rodgers said. “Now that the foundation is being set, it’s getting even easier to envision what our future home will look like. We look forward to returning to our neighborhood soon.”
Braeburn Elementary School students are continuing to settle into their new temporary home on the Welch Middle School campus, where they will remain until their flood-damaged school can be rebuilt.
“Students entered the campus excited and ready to start this new school year,” Braeburn Principal Amanda Rodgers said last week as students arrived for their first day of school in the temporary campus. Continue reading →
When Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston last August, it left a devastating mark on nearly everything it touched — including schools.
Nearly every campus in HISD received some damage, but there were four elementary schools — Scarborough, Mitchell, Kolter, and Braeburn — that received damage so significant that they had to be rebuilt.
That process is now underway. Design plans have been approved, and construction on the new schools is soon to begin. The students and staff from each of the four schools will remain in temporary spaces until their home schools are rebuilt and opened, which is expected in January 2020.