Principal Rene Garganta is joined by Spring ISD Board Trustees and administrators while he cuts the ribbon officially dedicating the Spring Early College Academy.
HOUSTON – Sept. 15, 2016 – The Spring Early College Academy unveiled its new campus with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Sept. 15, on the third floor of the newly renovated facility located at 14450 T.C. Jester Blvd.
Last year, the Board of Trustees approved the decision to transform the three-story One Park Centre building on T.C. Jester into the academy’s new campus. The $4.9 million renovation began in the spring and opened for students when school started Aug. 22. PBK Architects worked with the district on the renovation design and Balfour Beatty managed the construction for the project. Spring ISD Operations Chief Mark Miranda said the decision to purchase and renovate the existing building has saved the district at least $6 million when compared to the cost of new construction.
Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson, Principal Dr. Rene Garganta and Andy Arceo, a junior attending the school, talked about the school’s journey from portable buildings located at Southridge behind Westfield High School to the three-story facility on T.C. Jester.
Watson shared the school’s numerous accomplishments since opening in 2011, which include:
- Being listed in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 edition of America’s Best High Schools, receiving a bronze award.
- Being named a Star Honor Roll School for the Inaugural 2015 Texas Honor Roll by the Educational Results Partnership and the Institute for Productivity in Education.
- Achieving a 100-percent passing rate on three of the five required end-of-course assessments – Biology, English 2, and U.S. History.
- Being one of only 13 schools in the state to receive the Early College High School Demonstration Site Grant last year, which provides financial and technical support to high-performing ECHS campuses that are implementing best practices.
- Recently earning all possible distinctions in the 2016 state accountability ratings.
The academy opened in 2011 through a partnership between Spring ISD and Lone Star College-North Harris. Offering students – grades 9-12 – a rigorous and supportive academic program of study that blends high school and college work, the school’s primary goal is for students to graduate with a Distinguished High School Diploma and an associate degree or 60 college credit hours toward a bachelor’s degree. It is an opportunity for students, who may not otherwise consider attending college, to earn 12 to 60 college hours free of charge.