A day before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017, Tiffany
Irving and her son Grant eagerly delivered school supplies to his kindergarten
classroom at Mitchell Elementary, just south of Hobby Airport.
Little did they know then that Grant’s supplies — along with
the rest of his building and three other elementary schools across the district
— would be destroyed in the coming days as the storm dumped unprecedented
amounts of rain on the city.
Unfortunately, the damage wasn’t limited to the school. The Irving’s
home just around the corner from the school also flooded.
The new Mitchell Elementary School is more than halfway complete, and the building will be ready for the school’s young leaders to move in this summer.
The $23 million project is tracking at 60 percent completion with site work, paving, underground utilities, structural steel, and fireproofing complete. Exterior and interior wall systems, roofing, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing installation are ongoing.
The building is enclosed and interior finishes, such as flooring and ceilings, are expected to begin this quarter, as well as insulation under the building.
The autumn chill did not stop the Mitchell Elementary School community from gathering Thursday on the site where their new school soon will stand to celebrate the progress being made on their new building.
Students in matching yellow T-shirts kicked off the event with a heartwarming rendition of “There’s a Leader in Me.” Mitchell Principal Elizabeth Castillo-Guajardo then spoke to the crowd in English and Spanish.
“We are so proud of the resiliency everyone has shown throughout this process,” Castillo-Guajardo said. “Our new school will be a symbol of promise and hope that will propel our students into their bright future.”
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 on the new Mitchell Elementary School is
progressing as the concrete foundation and hollow core planks are now complete.
Crews have begun the erection of the structural steel and site paving is nearly complete.
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.
“Although Harvey tested our resiliency, it also created an
opportunity for our community to be blessed with a new school for our very
deserving students,” Mitchell Principal Elizabeth Castillo said. “We are
so eager as we watch the progress of our building. With the foundation
being poured, we know that our Mitchell 3.0 will be a beacon of hope as we work
to revitalize our community after Harvey.”
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.
Work has begun at Mitchell Elementary School, where abatement is underway, and demolition is soon to start.
The campus is one of four elementary schools — Braeburn, Mitchell, Scarborough, and Kolter — being rebuilt as a result of damages sustained last year during Hurricane Harvey.
Mitchell’s $23 million facility will accommodate about 750 students. The two-story 91,300-square-foot-building will feature open, brightly colored learning spaces, large windows, abundant natural light, and extended learning spaces throughout the building for individual and group collaboration.
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 →