HISD upgrades several campuses

More than $10 M invested to upgrade

HOUSTON - The Houston Independent School District is investing more than $10 Million to upgrade several campuses from the recently annexed North Forest School District.

Maintenance crews plan to spend the next several weeks ripping out musty carpet, painting walls, replacing wiring, throwing away textbooks and removing unsafe equipment from those campuses to bring them up to standard before the first day of school on August 26.

Earlier this week, North Forest exhausted its final appeal to stop the annexation by HISD, which was ordered by the Texas Education Agency.

On Wednesday, KPRC Local 2 was given a tour of Fonwood Elementary, one of the schools that is being renovated.

"The learning environment is important and we want our schools to have a warm environment that's clean and pleasant to the eye," said Kimberly Agnew Borders, the newly named principal of Fonwood.

Fonwood, which is being converted into an early childhood center, is one of seven North Forest campuses being absorbed by Houston ISD. 

The district plans to remove portable buildings located on the campus because they are in such a state of disrepair.

Years of neglect and lack of funding have taken a toll on the building, materials and supplies.

"We would like to demolish them," said HISD's Ronnie Veselka. "We do not think we can repair them, they are in very bad shape."

A spokeswoman for HISD said Superintendent Terry Grier will ask the school board to tap money from the fund balance to pay for the campus rehabilitation. The district also plans to ask the TEA to provide additional funding.    

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