The voter approved Humble ISD bond referendum, which was passed by an overwhelming margin in 2018, is aiming to complete several projects, one of which is the complete reconstruction of Lakeland Elementary, located in Humble.
The Lakeland Elementary project is one of the projects covered in the first sell-off of $125 million in bonds. The district opened this project to competitive bidding and selected PBK Architects to design the new school.
“Built in 1960, Lakeland Elementary is the district’s oldest school. A new, two-story building will replace the 59-year-old campus. The target date for opening the new building is 2022,” said Jamie Mount, chief communications officer for Humble ISD. “The next step is to open the project to competitive bidding for construction,” added Mount.
Lucy Anderson, Principal, explained the need to rebuild the nearly 60-year-old campus. She said, “The district has done an admiral job of maintaining this campus, but in order to bring this campus to the same level of structural excellency that every other campus has, the cost would be sixty five percent of a rebuild cost and we would still keep the same spaces.”
“Humble is investing in the child of the future by giving us the opportunity to rebuild. Our current spaces here are very traditional, they limit our students in participating in innovative programming and collaboration,” added Anderson.
The new building plans that were designed by PBK and approved by the Humble ISD Board feature flex spaces in the middle of classrooms; students can interact with other classmates and support personnel without needing to be crammed into the smaller spaces that the campus currently has. “This new school is designed for the 21st century, these newer buildings are bringing in natural light and they are designed with safety in mind. We want the best for every kid, regardless of which area they live in; Humble ISD models and acts on this mission,” said Anderson. The new campus will offer students opportunities for exploring fine arts, which originally was not an option. There was only one art and music teacher in the previous academic year, instructing 740 students grades K-5. This upcoming school year, K-3 students will explore a more diverse music, dance and theater program and students grades 4-5 will be able to make a selection as to which art or instrument they would like to learn, including trombone, trumpet, violin, guitar, percussion, dance, theater, choir, flute and clarinet.
“My goal is for our students to have two years of fine art experience under their belts, which will better prepare them for middle and high school programs. Research shows that there is a huge correlation between students experiencing fine arts and academic excellence. Part of this comes from the motivation to come back to school each day,” said Anderson.
“The new school is being designed with flexible spaces in mind to accommodate this wide range of fine arts programming,” said Mount.
“My vision is to provide quality, innovative education for every student and to create a positive atmosphere for students to learn and to thrive. My vision is to provide just-in-time intervention for children who are struggling academically and enrichment for students that are already thriving,” concluded Anderson.