The smell of freshly made popcorn and thunderous cheering filled the hallways of Scarborough Elementary School as overhead announcements reminded students there was just “thirty seconds until showtime.”
“Ah! I’m so excited!” one student yelled from his classroom.
“This is going to be so cool!” hollered another.
The excitement was focused on the Scarborough Elementary School Virtual Grand Opening, which students and staff were celebrating with classroom watch parties.
As Maria Iglesias posed for photos in her classroom at Scarborough Elementary School to celebrate her selection as the Associate Teacher of the Month for March, several of her kindergarten students stood by quietly hoping to get a photo with their favorite associate teacher.
“I just come here and I know they need so much help, especially now because of the pandemic,” Iglesias said. “I know I can help them, push them forward, however I can make a difference in their lives.”
Repeatedly referring to them as “my kids,” Iglesias has long had a passion for teaching. She became a part-time associate teacher when she retired as a full-time HISD teacher with the district, where she taught for 16 years.
Construction at the new Scarborough Elementary School is
steadily progressing, despite the district being closed due to the COVID-19
Work on the campus has continued, as allowable under the public
health guidelines, with a reduction of the workforce to adhere to social
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.
Girls in colorful, ruffled dresses with yellow ribbons in their hair waved their arms back and forth as boys in wide-brimmed black hats and red ties tapped their feet and wooden swords on the pavement.
Moving to the steady beat of mariachi music echoing through the air, the Ballet Folklorico energized the crowd gathered before them to celebrate the construction progress made on the new Scarborough Elementary School.
“We are Scarborough. Whatever it takes, together we can. No excuses,” said fifth-grader Jasmine Savala, who was adorned with a bright pink construction hat and matching vest.
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.
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 Scarborough 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.
Scarborough’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.
It’s been a rough six months for Scarborough Elementary School students, staff, and parents since Hurricane Harvey flooded their school, making it uninhabitable.
“We suffered a bit of a bump back in August,” said Principal Miriam Medina. “When I saw waves of water inside our beautiful school, I knew we wouldn’t be opening on time.”
It took a month, but they finally reopened in the former Terrell Middle School, which was large enough that they could all be together. Now the students are gathered in the auditorium to celebrate the donation of $25,000 to their music program, thanks to VH1 Save the Music Foundation in partnership with Hard Rock Heals Foundation. Continue reading →