New HISD high school delays opening to January 2021 amid COVID-19

FILE PHOTO - Exterior photo of Austin High School in Houston.
FILE PHOTO - Exterior photo of Austin High School in Houston. (KPRC2)

HOUSTON – The new Austin High School is now slated to open in January 2021, delayed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Houston Independent School District news release. The $80.9 million school was originally set to open in August 2020.

Austin HS will remain at its current temporary learning center located across South Lockwood Drive until the new facility opens.

The adjusted timeline includes a three-month delay in the school’s furniture shipment and manpower shortages caused by mandated social distancing requirements related to coronavirus, HISD Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders said.

“We have experienced new and unexpected obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sanders said. “But we remain committed to ensuring the health and safety of our students, staff, and employees, while also working to provide state of the art, top of the line schools for everyone.”

The state-of-the-art school will feature flexible learning spaces, sound upgrades for the existing auditorium, and preservation of the historic front façade of the original main building, which opened in 1937.

Austin is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools, across the district that are being renovated or rebuilt as part of the 2012 Bond Program, according to the district. More than 80 percent of all HISD construction projects are complete.

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