HOUSTON – Aug. 12, 2019 – More than a hundred members of the Spring ISD community gathered Saturday at the site of the district’s brand-new Roberson Middle School campus to celebrate the opening of the new facility. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was also attended by teachers and district staff, along with both current and former Roberson students, who came out to help celebrate the event.
During the ceremony itself, seventh-grader Briara Broussard was hard at work in the school’s makerspace troubleshooting a robot she was working on, but took a few moments away from her project to give her appraisal of the new Roberson campus.
“It looks more like a college than like a middle school,” she said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Broussard’s father and mother, Sean and Euphemia Broussard, also came out for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Both said they’re excited to see how the new facility will help inspire their daughter to develop her academic and creative interests.
“There’s a lot of opportunities here,” Broussard’s mother said of the school and its unique science, technology and fine arts program. “She just loves to build things, and she’s very creative. Hopefully she’ll take it to the next level and she’ll continue on throughout high school and beyond.”
Broussard’s father said he was impressed with the new campus, too. “It’s definitely night and day from where they were at before,” he said.
Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson, during his remarks, told those gathered that the new school represented an important milestone for the district.
“Many of you all were here a year ago, in June, when we had our groundbreaking in the middle of a dusty construction site,” Watson said. “We’ve come a long way since that time, and we’re extremely proud of all the work that’s been done to make this come to reality. In fact, this is the first brand-new school to open in Spring ISD since 2011. We’ve had renovations and repurposing, but this is the first time that we’ve been able to build a new campus here within our district.”
Watson went on to relay the sentiments of his predecessor, Dr. Ralph Draper, who helped develop and launch the Roberson program during his time leading the district.
“When I was talking with him,” Watson said, “he gave me a clear understanding that he wanted our students to be innovative. He wanted our students to have opportunities to be creative problem-solvers and thinkers. And when I was talking with him about the building, he was extremely elated about the vision, taking the next step, to the students now actually having the opportunity to realize that dream in a beautiful new building.”
Board President Rhonda Newhouse also spoke during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, describing the school’s journey from inception to the new campus.
“This marks the 10-year anniversary since the school was first established at the former Westfield High School 9th-grade Center at 1500 Southridge Boulevard,” she said, going on to praise the new building “created just for the remarkable students of Roberson Middle School.”
The new 156,500-square-foot building now open at 12430 Veterans Memorial Dr., just north of Lewis Elementary School, features a 400-seat auditorium, an open-concept dining area, and learning areas for the school’s specialized programs, including agriculture, engineering, criminal justice and performing arts.
During her remarks, Roberson Principal Tracey Walker thanked her staff, as well as parents of Roberson students past and present, emphasizing the school’s strong community, which she said has consistently rallied in support of students.
“This day wouldn’t be possible without everyone working together to make it possible,” Walker said. “We’re especially grateful to the voters who passed our 2016 Bond and allowed us to create this wonderful new school, built and designed to help our talented students be the best they can be. We are truly grateful.”
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee – who helped celebrate the opening of the Roberson program a decade ago – was in attendance as a special guest at Saturday’s ceremony. During her remarks, she praised the legacy of the school’s namesake – Dr. Edward Roberson – and said that his dedication to serving others was a model for all those celebrating the opening of the new campus. At the conclusion of her remarks, she presented a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to Roberson’s son, Ed Roberson, and his family.
In addition, Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis’ office presented a certificate to Principal Walker commemorating the day’s event.
Also on hand for the celebration were representatives from Satterfield & Pontikes, the construction firm that built the school, and architectural firm Huckabee, which designed the project. Huckabee’s Joe Greco, who served as on-site construction observer during the project, had the chance to see the new school develop from start to finish.
“I’ve been here since day one, since we started turning the dirt,” Greco said, as his own young son joined Broussard in the makerspace to help fix her robot. “This is probably the coolest school I’ve ever done, just the layout, the concept, the technology, everything about it. These are the projects you’re just really excited about because of the possibilities the students are going to have.”