HOUSTON – Dec. 17, 2020 – Freshman at Westfield High School will receive a huge gift for the holidays when their new ninth-grade center opens its doors on Jan. 5, just in time for the start of the spring semester.
The new campus is located north of the current high school at 1500 Southridge Road, in an extensively renovated building that previously housed Roberson Middle School. The project’s completion marks the final facility opening as part of Spring ISD’s 2016 $330 million bond program. Two other ninth-grade centers opened earlier this school year at Spring and Dekaney high schools.
Cecily Parker, lead principal at the Westfield Ninth-Grade Center, said the new campus is worth the wait. The new building features flexible furniture, new classroom equipment, common spaces with abundant natural lighting, an open-concept dining area, fitness center and gym.
“It’s a beautifully designed and renovated building that will give our ninth-grade students an environment that was really made for them,” Parker said. “Our whole goal is to ease the transition into high school so our students can have a strong freshman year that gives them the foundation to be successful in high school and beyond. This campus is perfect.”
Parker said her staff and all the ninth-grade students have been preparing since the start of the school year for the transition to the new campus facility. As construction workers have been putting the finishing touches on the building and moving in all the new furniture, Parker and her team have been getting ready as well.
“We knew that we were going to start the school year on the main campus, so we intentionally created an area in the building for ninth graders so they would be in close proximity to each other and begin to get the ‘small family’ feel that the Ninth-Grade Center will have,” she said. “We’re all excited to officially move in on Jan. 5.”
While the opening of the ninth-grade center is welcome news for students and staff, it’s also a big milestone for the district’s bond program, which is essentially complete after more than four years of work across the district.
In November 2016, voters approved the bond to address long-standing facility, technology and safety and security needs of the district. Accomplishments include:
- Three ninth-grade centers;
- A new JROTC center at Spring High School and a renovated JROTC Center at Westfield High School,
- Two new middle schools campuses – for Roberson Middle School and Springwoods Village Middle School;
- Planet Ford Stadium;
- Safety and security upgrades that include access control, fencing and cameras;
- Expanded bus service;
- Full-day prekindergarten programs;
- Renovation and maintenance projects at Link Elementary and Dueitt, Twin Creeks and Wells middle schools.
- Technology upgrades for improved connectivity, enhanced infrastructure, a new telephone system, as well as the purchase of laptops, Chromebooks, desktop computers and wireless access points.
“We’re extremely proud of all the progress we’ve made under our 2016 bond program and very grateful to our community for supporting this effort,” said Mark Miranda, the executive chief of district operations. “From the beginning, the bond has been about supporting our students so it’s especially gratifying to be able to finish up with the opening of this beautiful new ninth-grade center. Of course, we’ll still have close-out and punch-list items, but we’re nearing the end of a very successful bond program.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the district won’t be hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new building in the near future. But the school will be holding a virtual town hall soon to introduce the facility and help ensure a smooth transition for both students and parents.
“As soon as circumstances allow, we do hope we can showcase all three of our ninth-grade centers and invite our community to come and see what we’ve been able to accomplish together,” Miranda said.