AROUND THE REGION
District is advancing on construction projects funded by an $898.4 million bond program that was approved in 2017
By Ryan Nickerson STAFF WRITER
Spring Branch Independent School District
Steel framing is up for the Landrum Middle School replacement project. The new school will bring a “dramatic change to the neighborhood,” according to SBISD project manager Kris Drosche.
Students who returned to in-person learning this year in Spring Branch Independent School District are utilizing some of the new construction made possible by the $898.4 million bond program voters approved in 2017.
More than $53 million worth, or 7 percent of the construction and renovation portion of the 2017 bond, was underway as of this fall, according to Superintendent Jennifer Blaine.
“As I drive around the district, I am amazed at the transformation that is already happening with our 2017 bond program,” she told board members at a recent workshop.
One of the transformations includes Memorial High School’s new tennis complex, which features eight new courts and rebuilt locker rooms. Spectators also get shaded seating between the courts.
“It looks really professional,” senior Yann Zigman said in a news release. “We have a top program here, and now we have facilities that match up to a top state program.”
Memorial also is receiving a four-story, 161,000-square-foot academic building that includes a new cafeteria, as well as a new synthetic turf field finished on the school’s west side campus.
According to the district, all students will remain in current buildings during the two-year project, with extensive renovation work planned during summer periods.
Another major renovation is the Landrum Middle School replacement project, which is the first rebuilding of a middle school in SBISD.
The exterior sheathing of the now three-story middle school is 80 percent complete, and much of the interior work is underway.
The new middle school is on schedule to reopen next August, bringing a “dramatic change to the neighborhood,” according to SBISD project manager Kris Drosche, who predicts the school will become a local landmark.
The 234,000-square-foot building is going to have a 600-seat auditorium, a new library, new cafeteria areas, a “learning stairs” commons, competition gyms, open-flex spaces and sky bridge-style hallways.
Also included in SBISD’s 2017 Bond Program is Spring Woods High School’s remodeling project. The school is getting a new cafeteria, a renovated library, a raised outdoor plaza for pep rallies and concerts, and major heating, ventilation and air-conditioning upgrades.
“One of the important things about how Spring Branch approaches the new construction and major renovation projects within the 2017 Bond Program is to customize the individual projects for each situation and campus,” said Travis Sanford, associate superintendent for operations.
Spring Woods High School is an example of that, as its new cafeteria issued 651 lunches in only 21 minutes. According to the district, improved serving conditions helped facilitate student traffic and social distancing.
The goals of the district’s renovation projects are to bring the campuses up to current district standards and upgrade them to function well for the next 20 years.
“We find that this is successfully accomplished by working with campus staff and through the district’s Project Advisory Team, or PAT initiative,” Sanford said.
“Each new construction and major renovation project has a PAT, which is composed of school staff, parents, community and business members, a representative from the local jurisdiction and, in many cases, the end user, our students.” firstname.lastname@example.org