HOUSTON – Oct. 14, 2019 – As the fall months arrive, construction on the new ninth-grade centers planned for Spring ISD are moving along on schedule to open in time for the 2020-21 school year.
Dekaney, Spring and Westfield high schools will each receive new or renovated facilities – approved by the community as part of the 2016 Bond $330 million bond measure – to serve ninth-graders at the district’s comprehensive high schools. The goal is to meet the unique academic and social needs of new high school students, offering a more personalized and supportive experience by creating a learning environment just for ninth-graders.
The opening of the centers next August is planned to coincide with the implementation of the district’s new high school attendance boundaries, approved by the Board of Trustees in 2017. The boundary changes will help even out enrollment at the three comprehensive high schools, as well as create stronger and clearer feeder patterns.
“Next fall will be an exciting time to be a ninth-grader in Spring ISD,” said Superintendent Dr. Rodney Watson. “Each of the three centers will provide a learning environment designed to support our youngest high school students so they can make a successful transition. We are looking forward to opening the doors on these centers.”
Here are some details on the construction progress:
Spring Ninth-Grade Center
At Spring High School, contractors have started on the lightweight insulating concrete for the roof. The structural steel is progressing on schedule, while the building slab is completed and the fire access road is currently wrapping up.
Mechanical, electrical, plumbing work has started and will be ongoing as the exterior masonry and metal framing gets underway.
The new ninth-grade center will alleviate crowding in the current high school, creating a safer, more flexible environment for students. Plans for the ninth-grade center also include a 9,263 square foot JROTC building to support Spring High School’s award-winning program. The drilled piers for this portion of the school are underway and the slab for the first two areas of the facility have been poured.
Dekaney Ninth-Grade Center
Over at Dekaney’s ninth-grade center, construction is quickly moving along as the steel erection and slab on metal deck of the building, which will include a three-story classroom, is underway.
“Students can see the progress being made from the second story windows, so every now and then, we’ll see students watching the ongoing construction,” said Turner.
He mentions that the construction project as a whole is progressing a bit ahead of schedule. Designed to house up to 900 students, the 130,989-square-foot building will stand adjacent to the current campus at 22351 Imperial Valley Dr. In addition to a three-story classroom wing, the building includes a one-story wing for auxiliary needs such as athletic spaces, a cafeteria and fine arts facilities. Administrative spaces will also be placed throughout the building to ensure a strong connection to student learning areas.
Westfield Ninth-Grade Center
The former site of Roberson Middle School at 1500 Southridge Road is being renovated to house the new facility for the Westfield Ninth-Grade Center. Interior abatement began in early September and is now complete, according to Turner. The interior demolition is now underway.
“The construction process has been exciting and building anticipation for our future ninth-graders,” said David Mason, principal of Westfield High School. “We started with having several meetings involving stakeholders and Pfluger Architects. The overwhelming expectations were to develop a ninth-grade center that would provide a ‘wow’ factor and create an exciting learning environment for students.”
Similar to Spring High, the addition of Westfield’s ninth-grade center will also create a safer, more flexible environment for students and alleviate crowding on the current campus.
Mason says that 9th grade is a very important transition year for high school students and the new center will be an opportunity for students to get adjusted to high school while being around grade-level peers.
“Our goal is to help new Mustangs become great starting their first year of high school,” said Mason. “We would like to thank the Spring ISD Board and [Superintendent] Dr. Watson for making the ninth-grade centers a reality.”