SAISD kicks off Bond 2016 construction phase
Joined by Bowden Academy students wearing yellow construction hats, Board Trustee Steve Lecholop and Bowden Academy Network Principal Brian Sparks waved the official start flag and signaled the construction crew to finish excavation – the first step before drilling piers to begin the process of pouring foundation for a new addition.
On Nov. 8, 2016, SAISD voters approved a $450 million bond for major renovations for 13 schools, replacing infrastructure systems that, in most cases, are more than 40 years old, upgrading science labs and expanding other classroom spaces to meet recommended state guidelines.
Bowden Academy is among the first of the 13 schools slated to begin major renovations for Bond 2016, with anticipated project completion by early 2020. Bond projects are progressing steadily, and over the next few months, the community will see crews preparing for construction and breaking ground at other schools receiving renovations.
The 13 campuses receiving major renovations under Bond 2016 are:
- Three primary schools: Bowden and Irving Dual Language academies and J.T. Brackenridge Elementary School.
- 10 secondary schools: Davis, Rogers and Tafolla middle schools; and Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Fox Tech, Sam Houston, Lanier and Jefferson high schools.
Bowden Academy will receive an investment of about $11.1 million as part of the Bond 2016 program. After the renovations and additions, the size of the school will increase more than 12,700 square feet, supporting the school’s recent expansion from elementary to PK-8. Bowden Academy’s 530 students will enjoy completely updated spaces such as learning commons and makerspace labs to provide them with creative outlets to explore, practice, engage, and tinker with subjects such as math and engineering.
The design team of VLK Architects explored options that created opportunities for engagement between students and teachers, while also addressing infrastructure needs on the campus.
The new building addition will reside in a breezeway area underneath an existing second story. Utilizing this existing space, which already includes a roof and structure, provided for an economical location for additional instructional space. The addition will house new classrooms, including some science labs. The entire existing building also will be affected by the planned renovations.
Bowden Academy design highlights:
- The identity of the front entrance will be renovated to offer clear designation of the main entry to the campus, while also addressing safety and security upon entering the school.
- Large windows will be added to all classrooms along the perimeter, allowing natural light throughout all teaching environments.
- Lighting and HVAC upgrades will meet District standards, improving learning conditions for teachers and students.
- Upgraded technology will be provided to support next-generation learners.
- Renovated and new spaces will support students with special needs.
- The kitchen and cafeteria will undergo renovations, including new serving lines, a new walk-in cooler and freezer, and an ADA-accessible stage.
- The new Parent Room will serve as a dual-purpose flex lab. This space will include an operable wall that opens to collaboration areas to support multiple teaching styles.
- Site work will address drainage concerns, upgrade existing hardscape play areas, and add fencing to enhance student safety.
- The existing roof will be replaced with a “cool” roof that will increase energy savings and lower maintenance costs. A cool roof is one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof.