Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Trustees Approve Total Makeover for the Spring Branch Education Center

South/West view of the renovation plan for the Spring Branch Education Center.
The SBISD Board of Trustees has approved a rebuilding and renovation plan and related budget for the Spring Branch Education Center (SBEC) site located on the 9000 block of Westview. The bond improvement plan and related budget changes were authorized during the Board’s regular monthly meeting held on Monday, June 23.

The rebuilding plan, which was presented by SHW Group architects during a June 9 Workshop Meeting, puts a priority on new and improved student instructional spaces at two secondary schools – Cornerstone Academy and the Academy of Choice – while embracing the site’s original history as Spring Branch High School and improving the nearby neighborhood. 

Following June 9’s presentation and discussion, Trustees authorized moving forward with ongoing schematic design and design development work during summer months on the overall site plan with a September goal for final schematic plans. Trustees voted June 23 on an updated Facilities Improvement Plan, which includes transfers of approximately $28.2 million for this project.
North/East view of the renovation plan for the Spring Branch Education Center.
The project has been praised for its clear focus on student instructional improvements, while acknowledging historical and alumni concerns as well as “good neighbor” related issues associated with the current SBEC site.
The SBEC rebuilding and renovation plan includes the following highlights:
  • The district’s charter middle school, Cornerstone Academy, and its alternative high school, Academy of Choice, will both be rebuilt and renovated as separate, two-story academic buildings. They will share a cafeteria/kitchen and an outdoor courtyard quadrangle
  • The existing SBEC Auditorium and Library will be renovated and a new SBISD Museum space created in the former library area to house historical materials associated with the former Spring Branch High School and its active alumni association. The alumni group has both district and high school-related items in its extensive archives. 
  • SBEC’s current buildings are located on the former high school site, and the school’s front entry will be designed to recall the mid-century look of the original Spring Branch High School design.
  • Some existing building structures will be demolished to open up the SBEC site and to provide space for the central courtyard, pedestrian walkways, and additional vehicle/bus drop off and parking.
  • Several SBEC buildings will remain as is. They include the existing DAEP Building, Gym and Weight Room, Warehouse/Receiving and the Rubber Gym.
Remaining bond funds will pay for most of the SBEC rebuilding and renovation project, with a small portion paid through the district’s Contingency Budget created as a part of the 2007 Bond Plan.

Under the proposed rebuilding plan, SBEC’s students, teachers and staff would move off campus in June 2015. If no delays occur, they would return to renovated and rebuilt schools and offices in December 2016.
SBISD is able to undertake both an enhanced SBEC construction project and the current rebuilding of Rummel Creek Elementary School due to cost savings on other projects realized during the early years of bond construction and renovation.

It is expected at this time that the SBEC project will cap off, or largely complete, the $597.1 million bond program approved in 2007 by Spring Branch voters.


  1. What building are the students of cornerstone going to? Will there be a cornerstone High school?


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