Friday, January 25, 2013

Housman Elementary celebrates recent Grand Opening

Students and district leaders celebrate with ribbon cutting.
About 300 school and community members celebrated the grand opening of Spring Branch ISD’s 10th new, rebuilt elementary campus during a special event held Jan. 22 at Housman Elementary School. This new school is located at 6705 Housman at Silber.

Housman Elementary is one of 13 elementary schools that have been rebuilt under the $597 million 2007 Bond Plan.

Remaining schools in the design or construction phase are Frostwood, Valley Oaks and Rummel Creek elementaries.

The original Housman school opened in 1950. The new Housman Elementary is a two-story, 100,500-square-feet building with a wide central hallway and exterior fa├žade of brick, Texas limestone, split face concrete block, glazed curtain walls and shiny aluminum canopies.

The new Housman Elementary School - A 2007 Bond Program Project
The new elementary has 32 regular classrooms, in addition to resource, special education and fine arts classrooms, for a capacity of about 650 students. Key features of the new building are two large, colorful murals of the school’s mascot, the Housman Mustang.

Students and area families enjoyed tours of the new facility and refreshments.
In addition to school colors of purple and white, Housman has “crayon box” accent colors of red, blue and purple. The color scheme creates a vibrant, upbeat mood.

After more than a year in a transition building, students and staff returned to their east-side neighborhood on Jan. 8. Several hundred people gathered Jan. 22 for an after-school celebration in the new cafeteria.

Superintendent Klussmann thanks student leaders for their participation in the grand opening celebration.
Superintendent of Schools Duncan F. Klussmann, Ed.D., delivered the welcoming remarks and introduced several special guests. Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Board of Trustees member Katherine Dawson delivered greetings from Trustees. A former Housman third-grade teacher, she recalled past memories and asked the students and others to make new special ones.

Other Trustees who attended the Housman Grand Opening were Board President Pam Goodson, Mike Falick, Wayne Schaper, Sr., Chris Gonzalez, Bob Stevenson and Chris Vierra.

“Great things have occurred for years at Housman, and now you have a building that exemplifies this excellence of today and the hopes and promise of tomorrow. This is a new beginning and a time to celebrate. So what memories will you begin making today, and moving forward, in this new Housman Elementary building?”

She told gathered students: “This is your time to shine in this awesome new building and to show your Mustang pride by keeping the building nice, coming to school every day to learn, working hard, studying hard, and making memories. The memories that you make starting today and all the important things that you learn while at Housman will help you become what you want to be as a grown up.” (Read below for full statement)

Housman Principal Mary Lou Davalos noted that the old building held special memories, but new ones are being made. “The new Housman is beautiful. It is stunning. I get choked up by it. The new Housman will spark our children to do well in the future, too,” she said.

Student performances and presentations included a Zumba Fitness Dance by kindergartners set to the music of “Baila de Emociona Calypso;” poems by two fourth-graders; and special Words of Gratitude readings by fifth-graders. (Read below for student statements)

A video, titled “A Visual: Housman from Old to New,” was also shown. After the program, cookies were served to event guests.

Bay-IBI Group Architects provided building design services. Gamma Construction was the project contractor. SBISD Planning and Construction’s Kris Drosche was the project director.

Greetings from the SBISD Board of Trustees President Katherine Dawson

It is a privilege to bring you greetings from the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees.  Also, it is a special honor for me to stand here and deliver this welcome because almost sixteen years ago I began my teaching career here at Housman. 

I have some incredible memories, those special things you remember for a lifetime.  I remember the smiling faces every morning when I picked up my students from the main front hallway and our brisk outdoor walks to the back part of the building and being the lone third grade teacher on the amazing 5th grade wing.

I remember being thankful that my room had carpet where other classrooms did not. I remember our lessons on the rainforest and our parents who shared about their jobs during our community lessons.  I remember our awesome HUG volunteers of the past who continue today to truly make a difference in our students' lives. 

I remember our Community in Schools staff who continue to provide our kids the tools and resources that help them succeed in school.  I even remember thinking about running for the Board of Trustees because I wanted to represent our Housman kids and make opportunities for all our kids to succeed. 

Most of all I remember the strong community and amazing parents, students and facility that make up the Housman family.  This strong community continues to be part of today's memories and the reason we are here to today to celebrate the grand opening of the new Housman building.

Today, I stand here making a new memory in a new building.  Our community believed in the importance of passing a bond so we could build schools for our future.  Spring Branch believes in our future and your potential as seen in our ambitious goal to double the number of students completing a technical certificate, military training, two-year degree or four-year degree. 

We call this Spring Branch T24. Our community and district have given you a structure and a goal.  This new school is an investment in you.  What you do within this building determines your future and will help you achieve you goal. You have transitioned from a sixty year old building to a transition campus and now with great excitement and anticipation you are back home in this new, bright, open and colorful building. 

Great things have occurred for years at Housman and now you have a building that exemplifies this excellence of today and the hopes and promise of tomorrow.  This is a new beginning and a time to celebrate.  So what memories will you begin making today and moving forward in this new Housman building?

To our community, one must begin by saying thank you.  Thank you for having the confidence and belief in our kids and SBISD as we "build our future in Spring Branch."  This is a community school, a partnership with those in this room, and your investment in Housman assures our kids a bright future.  Utilize this cheerful, beautiful and functional space to mentor, provide programs and find new ways to get involved.  Let the contagiousness of something new spill over into your efforts and energize you to do more.  Community members are a key factor to helping our kids believe and succeed in our Spring Branch T24.  May this be the beginning of many celebratory memories you have at Housman.

To our parents, this is your neighborhood school.  May you feel welcomed at all times and may you actively participate in the education of your children.  Join your PTA, become a volunteer, find ways to become active at this school.  Even the smallest effort and a little bit of time can make a big impact, create a special memory and have a lasting effect on your child's education. 

To the Housman staff, you inspire your students daily to learn and grow, to dream and hope and see the importance of today's efforts in shaping their future. May you be inspired by this new facility and may you pass on that inspiration to your students. Enjoy the things a new building brings such as cubbies for the kids' belongs, well designed rooms, planning spaces and from what I have heard consistent temperature control; all factors that affect a day of learning.  Beyond these things know that this new building reflects the greatness that has been occurring daily in your teaching and may you continue to perpetuate your strengths will enjoying and incorporating the benefits this new school has to offer. You are true memory makers in the minds and hearts of our students.

Finally and most importantly, to the Housman students, take a moment and look around this room.  The people that fill this room are here because of you.  Today, we will cut a ribbon that is meant to create a memory regarding the opening of this school.  This is your school and you are the reason this new building was constructed.  We believe in you and your bright future. 

Just raise your hand if you have thought about what you want to be when you grow up. Whatever you decide, it starts here in this building.  Learn those math facts, take time to discover new places and things through reading a good book, dream and imagine then share those thoughts through your writings, listen to your teachers they are here for you and choose to do your best.

This is your time to shine in this awesome new building and to show your mustang pride by keeping the building nice, coming to school every day ready to learn, working hard, studying hard and making memories.  The memories you make starting today and all the important things you learn while at Houseman will help you become what you want to be as a grown up. 

In closing, I ask you again what memories will you make here in this spectacular building.  It is truly humbling to think about what this building holds for today and tomorrow and the memories that will be made in the next sixty years.  Enjoy this new beginning and start making those special memories.

At this point in time, I am going to share another memory and that is walking into this school for a tour during construction and meeting an energetic, smiling individual who beamed with pride for her school and her mustang community. This is individual is Mary Lou Davalos, your Housman Principal and it is my privilege to introduce her to you today.  Mary Lou.

Words of Gratitude from Housman 5th Grade Class Representatives
Kassandra Ortiz

When I came to Housman Elementary in second grade, I quickly felt at home because my teacher made me feel welcomed. I thought it couldn’t get better than this. When I was in 3rd grade, however, I received the exciting news that we would have a new school built. Ms. Davalos and Mr. Mendizabal showed us an example of what it might look like.

In what seemed like a blink of an eye, it was announced that we would finally be coming back ‘home’. My imagination ran wild with what to expect and I got that cool nervous feeling inside me.

When I walked into my new school, the first thing I saw was the mustang painting made up of a thousand Housman words. Everywhere I looked was simply amazing. During lunch time I sit and stare at our beautiful stage picturing me graduating in May.
This is the first of many dreams coming true. Thank you, Dr. Klussmann, School Board Members, Principals and Teachers, so much for all the hard work.

Vanessa Barrera

After long months of waiting, for this magnificent transformation and the many efforts and sacrifices of our families, teachers and builders, the day to return to Housman was finally here. We could not sleep thinking about the big day and our new school that would welcome us with open arms. Many remember the emotions when the bus stopped in front of the school and we looked at each other with big smiles. Everything was like a dream come true. We could not believe it, we felt like it was a university.

This beautiful work inspires us for the future, with a library as the central point to dream big, this school is the result of our achievements and it will help us take on new roles in life.

We will be the first class to graduate from this colorful and wonderful building. Thank you for the opportunity to learn in the most modern of facilities. It is a real pride to belong to this school and be a part of the Spring Branch Independent School District.

Jackie Hernandez

My name is Jackie Hernandez-Ortiz and I’m a 5th grade student. First of all I need to say about the new school is that I’m very impressed with the size of this school. My jaw dropped when I walked in for the first time. I couldn’t believe that this was going to be my new “home”.

Yet a part of me is saddened knowing that I will be graduating in a few short months. But on the other hand, I get to be the first to walk across our gorgeous stage. This new building will allow me to get closer to achieving my dreams of becoming a doctor someday. I want to thank you, Dr. Klussmann, School Board Members, principals and teachers for your endless hours of work.

Jonathan Romero

As a fifth grader I am honored to be a Housman Mustang and one of the first to graduate this new school. I hope my classmates feel the same way about this building as I know how much work was put into it.

We as students should try to keep it clean for the next generation of kids to enjoy it. I want to thank the teachers, workers, students who helped in the making of this school. I hope the next generation’s future is as bright as mine.

This building is a gift to all of us. I would like to thank Ms. Davalos and Mr. Mendizabal for being our principal and assistant principal in guiding us to our future and lives. Thank you teachers for teaching us and maturing us for the future.

Poems from Fourth Grade Students
New Housman- Avery English

New and clean,
Up and down,
New sights to see all around.

Stripes of color on the walls,
Be careful not to scratch the wall,
Lot’s of rooms in one huge hall.

The New School that SAID! - Stephanie Martinez

On the playground, I don’t fill you with fright,
But I fill you with delight,
You can explore me in an abundance of ways,
And discover something you’ve never seen before
Don’t shout and don’t be a bully in my halls,
Remember, I’m two stories tall,
And think of those who clean your mess,
I bet it kind of makes them upset.

I know I’m not gold,
But take care of me,
So I can be part of your treasure,
That fills you with pleasure!


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