Northside High School students steadily filed into the commons on Monday and lined up behind a bank of white tables, eager to pick up schedules, find friends, and get a first glimpse of the new campus.
Standing just behind the tables was Assistant Principal Victor Okoli, armed with a floor plan and ready to help students navigate the new facility.
Principal Cecilia Gonzales stood just a few feet away, watching over the process, welcoming students back to school, and guiding them through new, brightly colored hallways.
With a slated opening for the 2019-2020 school year, construction on Northside High School is now 90 percent complete.
The school’s science and art rooms and bus canopy are complete. Interior
finishes in the performance arts wing, first floor classroom renovations,
landscaping, and parking are nearly complete. In addition, stairwell upgrades
in the historic building are underway.
The $66 million project is part of the voter-approved 2012 Bond program
and calls for two new additions along with renovations to the original
building, built in 1928.
HISD Bond Oversight Committee members toured the new Wharton Dual Language Academy during their quarterly meeting Tuesday, getting an inside look at the building that opened its doors to students just four months ago.
Wharton Principal Jennifer Day and HISD Construction Services Senior Manager Meredith Smith led the group around the colorful building, making stops in classrooms, science and computer labs, and art and music rooms, as well as the cafeteria, gym, and library.
Six teams of student chefs clad in double-breasted white jackets and black-and-white houndstooth pants converged on the Art Institute of Houston last weekend, all aiming to slice and dice their way to a national title.
The six teams, which were made up of HISD culinary students from Westside, Northside, and Milby high schools, were participating in the annual Cooking Up Change competition. The contest challenges students to create healthy meals that meet the real-life nutritional and cost requirements of the national school meal programs. Continue reading →
Festive music filled the air at Northside High School on Wednesday as alumni and community members walked along a Panther-purple carpet into a wall-signing celebration held to mark the construction progress made at the school.
About 200 attendees were treated to student performances and heard from guest speakers before being invited to add their signatures to special wall panels, which will be permanently exhibited in the new building.
“Generations upon generations have entered these doors,” Northside Principal Cecilia Gonzales said. “Today they can leave their mark, which will be on display for generations to come. It’s really exciting.” Continue reading →
When Northside High School alumnus Machell Blackwell walked through the doorway on the third floor of her alma matter, she said she felt like she was walking through time.
On one side of the well-worn building, it seemed dark and confined — even a bit dated. But on the other, hallways were lighter, classrooms were brighter, and there was a colorful, collaborative space where students could gather to work in small groups.
“To me, I feel like I was walking through a time machine,” said a smiling Blackwell, who also serves as a Northside PTO recruiter and member of both the Northside Project Advisory Team and Shared Decision-Making Committee. “I just walked into the 21st century.”
Cecilia Gonzales has been named principal of Northside High School. Gonzales is a product of HISD’s Austin High School, and she began her career in HISD as an elementary bilingual teacher at Pugh Elementary School. During her 27-year tenure with the district, she has served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Under her leadership at her most recent campus, Lyons Elementary, the school received two National Blue Ribbon awards. In addition, Gonzales was named last year’s HISD Principal of the Year. She is seeking her doctoral degree at TSU.
Construction is underway at Northside High School, where crews already have begun to demolish the old front entrance and gut and renovate the second floor library space.
By the end of the summer, work on the library — a portion of which will be transformed into new classrooms — as well as work on restrooms, common areas, and utilities throughout the building, will be complete, and new temporary buildings will be fully installed.
Northside High School welcomed parents, students, teachers, and neighbors to its third community meeting on Wednesday to discuss the plan and timeline for construction and renovation work underway on its campus.
During the meeting, Northside Principal Julissa Alcantar-Martinez unveiled a new traffic plan developed to keep students and staff safe throughout construction. The plan calls for the rear parking lot to be closed, with both parking and the main school entrance relocated to the west side of the campus.
“We’ve been meeting for the last four years, every week, every month, talking about the construction and what was coming,” Alcantar-Martinez said. “We’re happy to say we’re getting started.”