7 Houston Schools Break Ground

HOUSTON — The Houston area has seen a boom in school construction ever since a $1.89 billion bond issue was passed in 2012, funding a variety of Houston Independent School District (HISD) projects. Forty schools are slated for renovation or replacement with the 2012 bond funds, reported the Houston Chronicle, and 17 of these projects have been moved from the design phase to the construction phase. Seven groundbreakings have taken place in the past two months alone.

Here is a roundup of the seven projects currently under construction:

Condit Elementary was the first groundbreaking for the 2012 bond program. Construction on the century-old school broke ground on Nov. 1. The new facility is designed to accommodate 750 students.
• On Dec. 18, students, teachers, staff and alumni gathered for the groundbreaking of a brand-new Milby High School, which will be built inside the historic shell of the existing facility. Plans include updated facilities for manufacturing and engineering programs, with specialized spaces for welding, performing and visual arts, a student-run cafe and a print shop.
• Construction is underway on North Houston Early College High School, one of HISD’s five early college campuses, where students can take free college-level courses for credit. The three-story, $13.5 million facility will feature new science labs, flexible learning centers, small breakout areas and a living room-style dining area, according to the school district.
DeBakey High School for Health Professions is moving into a new facility on land donated by the Texas Medical Center. The facility will accommodate up to 1,000 students and will house health science, dental, medical engineering and patient-care labs as well as learning centers, a library and flexible learning spaces. Construction began on Dec. 15.
• The new High School for the Performing and Visual Arts will be built on the same city block that formerly housed Sam Houston High School and HISD headquarters. The new five-story building will feature a main theater, mini theater, black box and studios for music and art. A roof garden and outdoor studio are other highlights.
Worthing High School is the first school in the 2012 bond program to expand vertically. Construction of the vertical expansion was initiated in a Dec. 11 groundbreaking.
• A groundbreaking for the Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School was held Dec. 6. The new 118,000-square-foot facility was designed around a sun and moon concept. It is located adjacent to the School at St. George Place, allowing both schools to share sports fields and green spaces. The language school offers full-immersion Mandarin Chinese for pre-kindergarten through second grade, and additional grades will be added to create a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade program.