Ready, set, demo! Students at Spring ISD’s Early College Academy participate in “demo day” at One Park Centre, 14450 T.C. Jester Blvd.
HOUSTON – April 15, 2016 – Demolition has already started at what will be the new home for the Spring ISD Early College Academy next school year. The transformation of the One Park Centre building located at 14450 T. C. Jester Blvd. into the academy’s new campus officially began after the Board of Trustees recently approved using a Construction Management-at-Risk method for the project.
Mark Miranda, Spring ISD chief operations officer, said this decision will enable the district to open the facility in time for school to start in August.
“We made a decision toward the end of last year to do something for that school, and I am excited to report that the outcome for this facility and our students is going to be even better than we first anticipated,” said Miranda.
Initial plans for the renovation only included the first two floors of the three-story building. Working with PBK Architects and the district’s Chief Financial Officer Ann Westbrooks, the district determined that it would indeed be possible to also renovate the third floor for additional instructional space by using available funds from the general budget and residual bond project money.
“We thought it made good sense and brought additional value to the district to use a professional contractor to complete the third-floor build out, especially since funding is available to do so,” Miranda said.
The first two floors will be reconfigured into conventional classrooms, while the third floor will feature an open concept where exercise equipment can be used to meet the students PE requirements. Additionally, the top floor will include computer labs. The total cost for the construction project – $4.7 million – also allows for food service upgrades. The district has contracted with Balfour Beatty to manage the construction project.
“We purchased the building originally at $35 per square foot, which was an amazing value. There is nothing out there in the current market that comes close to the $35 per square foot that we paid for this building originally,” said Miranda.
When the project is completed, the total cost, including the cost of the building, will be about $6.3 million. “Compared to the estimated cost of purchasing property and building a brand new building from scratch – a conservative estimate is $12.3 million – this is at least a $6 million savings for the district,” Miranda said. “And we are going to get this done by the next school year, which is a huge benefit to our students.”
Students at the academy participated in “demo day” at the T.C. Jester facility recently and were excited about the opportunity for their school to have a new campus. See video.
ABOUT EARLY COLLEGE ACADEMY – The Early College Academy is available through a partnership between Spring ISD and Lone Star College – North Harris. The academy offers students – grades 9-12 – a rigorous and supportive academic program of study that blends high school and college work with the goal being that students will graduate with a Distinguished High School Diploma and an associate degree or 60 college credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree. It is an opportunity for students, who may not otherwise consider attending college, to earn 12 to 60 college hours free of charge.