HISD Set to Open Eight New Schools This Fall

Construction projects also include major renovations at 53 schools

July 25, 2011

Today, Lewis Elementary School is a collection of 61 portable classrooms. Students and teachers have been at a temporary campus for two years, but the opening of their new school is now just weeks away. “I can’t wait,” Principal Tonya Sanders-Woods says.

Twice a week, she stops by the new building to see the progress that crews are making. She has been taking photos and sending them to the teachers so they can see the different phases of construction. The wireless school includes two computer labs, science labs, and classrooms that are grouped together by grade level. Teachers, administrators, parents, and community members helped pick out furniture, tiles, carpeting, and the color of the paint for the walls. “It is gorgeous. We are so excited that our kids and our teachers will be able to move into such a beautiful building,” Sanders-Woods says.

Lewis is one of eight new schools set to open in August or September. Others include the Horn Academy and Almeda, Berry, deAnda, DeChaumes, Frost, and Lovett elementary schools. The district’s Construction and Facilities Services (CFS) team has been working on those projects, along with the construction of several other new schools, which are set to open later in the school year.

“We want to create an environment where the students want to come in, and say, ‘I love being here,’” CFS General Manager Issa Dadoush explains. He says each one of the new buildings is a “green” school built to LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, standards. Key features in LEED schools include the installation of water-conserving plumbing fixtures that reduce the amount of water used, improved air quality, and the use of natural light. Schools undergoing major expansions will also be built to LEED standards.

Currently, 53 schools are under renovation, and work at many of those campuses is scheduled to be completed in the late summer or early fall. The construction of the new schools and the renovations are part of the Facilities Capital Program, which includes funding from the 2007 Bond Election, as well as other sources.

Read a related press release here (.pdf) about how the district is delivering on the promises it made during the 2007 construction campaign.