By African American News | AframNews
HOUSTON – Recently, Booker T. Washington High School celebrated a big milestone with a festive groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on a new $51.7 million campus said to be ready to move into in the next one to two years.
More than 100 parents, students, staff, alumni, and community members attended the event and were joined by HISD Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones, State Sen. John Whitmire and Houston City Councilwoman Karla Cisneros.
“This is a wonderful occasion and the beginning of amazing things to come for these students and the community,” Skillern-Jones said. “This neighborhood has a rich history. I think the new building will be a great addition and hopefully attract kids back to their neighborhood school.”
As part of HISD’s $1.89 billion bond program approved by voters in 2012, Washington will receive a new 180,000-square-foot building that will accommodate up to 1,300 students. The building will showcase the school’s engineering program with 21st century technology, specialized engineering and science labs, and flexible learning spaces to support project-based learning and encourage collaboration.
“The new building embraces the engineering program that the school has had for many years,” said architect Jim Hepburn of Fanning Howey + House Architects. “It’s a unique setup. We’ve moved the engineering programs, construction, technology, computer, and agriculture, all to the front of the building so that all students are exposed to them and hopefully be encouraged to join.”
The school is located in the Independence Heights neighborhood of Houston and enjoyed strong alumni and community support throughout the planning and design phases.