HISD holds ceremony at eco-friendly campus

April 3, 2012 10:29:20 AM PDT
HISD is dedicating one of its new eco-friendly schools, paid for in part by an $800 million bond referendum. This comes as the district is asking for public input on a proposal that could save it money but would extend the school day for students.

The new DeChaumes facility was built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and is projected to have a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption.

In today's ceremony, they touted their eco-friendly features. Students have new library, new computer labs, science labs and even Smart Board technology in all classrooms. The facility upgrade is possible as part of a $805 million bond referendum, which was approved by voters in 2007.

"The first time that I came to DeChaumes, ya'll were all in temporary buildings and waiting for this to come to fruition and I listened to her talk about all the activities and realities that they have come to bear for the kids here, " said HISD District 1 Trustee, Anna Eastman.

DeChaumes Elementary is one of 16 new schools designed with eco-friendly features and leading technology that HISD has opened since 2011. The district will soon be opening eight more.

Meantime, HISD students may be in school longer in school each day. HISD is looking to extend the school day 19 minutes per day, which would add 7 full days to the school calendar.

HISD says it would save $1.2 million in doing so because it can streamline the bus routes and make them run more efficiently.

Here are some of the options:

  • About half of all of HISD elementary schools would operate from 7:30am to 3pm
  • The other half would go from 8:30am to 4pm
  • All HISD middle schools would operate from 7:45am to 3:15pm
  • All high schools would run from 8:45am to 4:15pm
  • Before any changes are made, HISD is asking parents to weigh in. They're holding 10 public meetings. Those meetings start tonight at 6pm at three locations.

  • Austin High School, 1700 Dumble
  • Bellaire High School, 5100 Maple Street
  • Chavez High School, 8501 Howard

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