The AISD Board of Trustees has approved schematic designs for capital improvements at Workman Junior High School. The architect, BRW Architects, presented the plans at the March 19 board meeting.
The capital projects scheduled for Workman include a classroom addition, expanded cafeteria, a new school entrance, a small addition and renovation of administration space and lifecycle updates, all to accommodate major changes at the school.
The school’s junior high student population will nearly triple next year to about 1,400 when students from Hutcheson Junior High move to Workman. The two junior highs are consolidating because the Hutcheson school building will be torn down to make way for a districtwide Career Technology Education Center.
To help make room for the Hutcheson students and teachers, Newcomer Center, which is currently housed in Workman, will move to what is currently Ferguson Junior High. Newcomer Center, which helps immigrant students learn English and transition to their home campuses, will share the Ferguson building with Venture High School, which is also moving from its current location at 4900 West Arkansas Lane. The junior high students and teachers currently at Ferguson will move to and consolidate with Ousley Junior High.
Even with the departure of Newcomer Center, Workman will need the extra 16 classrooms planned in the school addition, along with an expanded cafeteria. While portable classrooms will be necessary during the construction process, they will all be removed once the addition is complete. Construction will begin once school is out in June, with the cafeteria ready by August 2015 and the new classrooms by August 2016.
Along with the new wing of classrooms, which will face Arbrook Boulevard, a new distinctive entrance will be constructed at what is currently considered the back of the building. The new entrance will greatly improve the school’s curb appeal and make the building more inviting. It will be ready to welcome students when they start school in August 2016.
Other improvements include a new security vestibule at the front, a small expansion and renovation of administration space and lifecycle improvements to ensure the building, built in the 1960s, is in good shape to promote a safe learning environment for years to come.
Check aisd.net/bond for regular updates on the consolidation of Workman and Hutcheson and the progress of the capital projects.