Tag Archives: BuildHISD

Bellaire HS preparing to open three new wings to students this fall

With the first phase of construction 85 percent complete, Bellaire High School is on track to debut three new wings — academic, fine arts, and physical education — when students return for the 2021-2022 school year.

Crews are installing technology in the three-story academic wing, which is nearly complete and expected to be outfitted with furniture in June after students depart for the summer.

Carpet has been installed in the auditorium and ceiling tiles and flooring are now being installed in the remainder of the fine arts wing. Epoxy flooring in the natatorium pool also is underway in the physical education wing.

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Austin HS celebrates virtual grand opening with watch party

Following a path of green and white balloons, dozens of Austin High School students and staff shuffled into the auditorium to find seats for the big event — the premiere of Austin’s virtual grand opening.

Clad in green attire and masks, students and staff gathered for the physically distanced watch party hosted in the recently renovated school auditorium, where a giant screen was set up to display the celebration.

Among the sea of green was senior Zuri Mendoza Gonzalez, who sat front and center in a ruffled green and white dress. She said she was excited to represent Austin as the master of ceremonies in the virtual grand opening and wanted to be close to the action.

“It was nice to be part of such a historical event, especially as the master of ceremonies,” Mendoza Gonzalez said. “It was very special, an honor really.”

Built as part of the 2012 Bond program, Austin’s $80.9 million, 288,628-square-foot campus features a three-story academic wing, two gyms, and an outdoor courtyard. The virtual grand opening showcased these areas, bringing them to life with student-led segments and performances.

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New Westbury HS fine arts wing ‘ups the ante’ for magnet program

When Nathaniel Melvin began teaching art at Westbury High School, he was assigned a classroom with no sink. For someone who specializes in building large sculptures and technical art pieces, that was an issue.

He installed one, but even then, the classroom never quite functioned the way he needed it to. There wasn’t enough cabinetry to hold supplies.

Melvin now teaches in a “visual arts studio” specifically designed to meet his students’ needs. Ample power is available via ceiling cables at each art table. There is plenty of built-in storage space. Most importantly — there is not one, but three sinks.

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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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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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Principals of schools damaged by Hurricane Harvey excited to return ‘home’

A new school year typically brings a mix of emotions for Kolter Elementary School Principal Julie Dickinson. Feelings of excitement mingled with the hope that everything will run smoothly.

As Dickinson readies for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, she is once again experiencing those same feelings, but this time they’re tinged with the promise of new beginnings.

“There was a huge loss to get where we are today,” Dickinson said. “But I can’t think of a more deserving community.”

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Lamar HS construction nears completion

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.

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Scarborough ES construction 94 percent complete

Construction at the new Scarborough Elementary School is steadily progressing, despite the district being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Work on the campus has continued, as allowable under the public health guidelines, with a reduction of the workforce to adhere to social distancing requirements.

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.

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