Festive music by the Lawson Middle School band greeted guests Wednesday as they arrived to celebrate the grand opening of the school’s new $66 million building – one of 13 new or renovated HISD schools that opened in August.
The event paid tribute to the school’s namesake, Audrey H. Lawson, and was attended by parents, students, staff, alumni, and community members, along with members of the Lawson family.
“This building is absolutely beautiful. It represents our investment in this community and the future of our students in the Hiram Clarke neighborhood,” said Houston Independent School District Board of Education Trustee Wanda Adams, who served as emcee for the event. “The new Lawson Middle School will have a huge impact on this community for generations to come.” Continue reading →
Clad in super hero capes and masks, enthusiastic teachers and staff gathered in the foyer of the new Lawson Middle School to welcome students for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.
Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said the costumes were a reminder to students and parents of their power to move the campus forward and conquer obstacles that stand before them.
“It’s a new era of academic achievement” Bailey said. “Lawson’s academic status is now ‘Growth Distinction.’ We are no longer ‘Improvement Required.’ That alone has given us the additional boost of excitement preparing us for this new academic achievement.”
Music echoed throughout the Lawson Middle School gym as community members gathered with former students and staff to catch up with old friends, flip through old yearbooks, and dance the afternoon away.
Led by current students and staff, the stroll down memory lane was part of a “Walk to Remember” — an event held to let stakeholders bid their final farewells to the building before it is demolished later this summer.
“It’s important to preserve the memories,” Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said. “There’s a lot of history with this school, but we’re very excited to move into the new building.”
Construction on the new Lawson Middle School is now in the final stages, with the project almost 90 percent complete and on track to open this summer.
The main and auxiliary gymnasiums, locker rooms, dining commons, kitchen, and administrative offices are nearly complete, and flooring is being installed throughout the building. In addition, driveways at the east and west sides of the campus are almost finished.
“The end is in sight,” Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said, noting that furniture selections have been confirmed, and delivery will occur mid-May. “We are extremely excited and can’t wait to move in.”
Construction on the new Lawson Middle School is making steady progress, with work now more than 70 percent complete and on track to be finished in the second quarter of 2018.
Walls and ceiling have been installed, and, in the coming weeks, crews will begin painting the gymnasium, locker rooms, and a section of the academic pods. Installation of the theater stage and elevator also are underway, and driveways are being poured on both the east and west sides of the building.
“It’s exciting,” Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said, noting that she and her staff would be doing a walk-through next week. “Last time they toured the building, it was just a shell. This time they’ll have a more vivid picture of what the spaces will look like since windows, walls, and doors are installed.”
Huge smiles could be seen throughout the Lawson Middle School courtyard as students headed outside to scribble their signatures on what will be the final beam to be erected as part of their new school.
The southwest Houston middle school is among 40 schools being renovated or rebuilt as part of the 2012 Bond program. The signed beam will be the last piece of steel installed, as the $59 million project is nearly one-third of the way complete.
“We are overjoyed at the feeling of knowing that the school is on the mark to be completed by the end of the school year,” said Lawson Principal Tynette Guinn. “The kids are excited to be a part of history.”
Nearly 500 students, staff, and school supporters attended a groundbreaking ceremony for Lawson Middle School on Friday to officially mark the start of construction on the new campus and to honor the dedicated educator for whom the school is now renamed.
Dowling Middle School will receive a new $59 million school to accommodate 1,300 to 1,500 students.
The design features include a three-story academic building, a fine arts building, dining commons, and gym. A large secure courtyard area will be located at the center of the school for students to gather throughout the day and be used for casual learning.
The school is just entering the construction phase, with the project to be bid in the first quarter of 2016. Construction is expected to last about 24 months.
Dowling Middle School held its second community meeting on Tuesday evening to brief stakeholders on the design process for a 21st century learning environment, which is being built under the district’s 2012 bond program.