The Houston school district has opened a new $72 million Sterling Aviation High School.
The district says the 237,000-square-foot campus will replace the original structure built in 1965. The school features contemporary furniture, broad windows, and spacious classrooms and hallways adorned in bright, bold colors.
The building was designed to enhance the school's aviation sciences program and support 21st-century learning.
The new building is one of the major projects in the district's 2012 Bond Program, which calls for the renovation or rebuilding of 40 schools, including 29 high schools. Sterling is the first comprehensive high school to be built in the district in almost 16 years.
Built to accommodate 1,600 to 1,800 students, the campus has a massive airplane hangar that serves as the centerpiece of both the school and its focus on aviation science.
Lined with large viewing windows and surrounded by career and technology education classrooms, the hangar provides a flexible learning space where students can work on airplanes and engines — both individually and in large and small groups.
The campus also includes science labs, flexible classroom spaces, and several learning commons areas, each of which serves as a sort of modern, high-tech library. Another highlight is the school’s learning stairs. They provide a flexible learning space for small groups or impromptu lectures.
The new school was built just south of the original location. Once students and staff are moved into the new location, crews will begin demolishing the original school to make way for new athletic fields and parking. The second phase is expected to be completed later this year.
Houston district video: First day at new Sterling Aviation High School.