Lined up on the hardcourt, Kolter Elementary School students eagerly awaited their turn to grab fun signs and silly glasses and squeeze between columns of red, white, and blue balloons for the perfect photo op.
On the far end of the court, the students — all clad in blue t-shirts emblazoned with a large “60” — chased each other around and danced to music booming through nearby speakers.
The spirited atmosphere was part of celebration day, which included a watch party for the virtual grand opening and 60thanniversary of the newly built school.
The new Kolter Elementary School will soon be ready for students, teachers, and staff to move in and the Cougars can hardly wait to be back home.
The $23 million project is tracking at 72 percent completion and slated to be occupied by this summer. Structural steel, roofing, and fireproofing will wrap up this quarter. Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installation is 81 percent complete.
“We’re only five months away from being able to move into our new school home and we’re thrilled,” Kolter Principal Julie Dickinson said.
Hundreds of Kolter Elementary School families gathered Saturday at the site where their old school once stood, eager to get a peek at concrete and steel rising up from the ground before them.
Many were clad in red and blue shirts adorned with a proud and determined message: “Hurricanes are strong. Kolter is stronger.” Others held white paper fans emblazoned with, “Consider me a big fan of the new Kolter Elementary.”
All were there to celebrate the construction progress on the foreign language magnet school, set to re-open next summer after being destroyed two years prior by Hurricane Harvey.
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.
Construction continues at Kolter Elementary School with
structural steel of the new building nearly complete.
Crews will now begin the installation of both the first- and second-floor slabs. Exterior wall framing will begin next month.
“Watching the beams and framing come to life has made all
the difference,” Kolter Principal Julie Dickinson said. “It’s so exciting to
see a second floor and to begin to visualize learning spaces and common areas.
I can’t believe we’re less than a year away from moving into our new school
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.
The demolition of flood-ravaged Kolter Elementary School is underway, with site work and building construction expected to start soon after.
Construction is expected to continue through 2019, with the new school opening in early 2020. Students and staff will remain at their current temporary location — the former Gordon Elementary School campus on Avenue B in Bellaire — for the duration of the construction process.
The foreign language magnet is one of four elementary schools — Braeburn, Mitchell, Scarborough, and Kolter — being rebuilt as a result of damages sustained last year during Hurricane Harvey.
Sugary donuts and hot coffee lined blue tables at the front entrance of Kolter Elementary School as students, faculty, and parents covered their hands with bright-colored paint and marked the building’s exterior with vibrant handprints.
The festivities were part of a “Donuts before Demo” event designed to allow hundreds of community members the chance to say goodbye to their beloved building, which is being demolished and rebuilt due to damages sustained from Hurricane Harvey.
“It’s exciting,” Kolter Principal Julie Dickinson said, smiling. “Although initial circumstances weren’t ideal, we’re getting a new building. It’s worth the wait.”
The HISD Business Assistance Supplier Diversity team is holding an outreach session on Friday for minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE) interested in working as subcontractors on the projects to rebuild four schools damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Last week, the HISD Board of Education selected Satterfield & Pontikes Construction as the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) tasked with overseeing the demolition and construction of the four elementary schools – Kolter, Mitchell, Braeburn, and Scarborough. Continue reading →