Tiger Times

Renovated pride

District approved $5 million tax note to be used for variety of improvements

A+rendering+from+Bartlett+Architecture+of+the+renovated+construction+technology+building+shows+the+concept+of+the+building+when+completed.+Renovation+construction+will+begin+this+summer.+Submitted+photo
A rendering from Bartlett Architecture of the renovated construction technology building shows the concept of the building when completed. Renovation construction will begin this summer. Submitted photo

A rendering from Bartlett Architecture of the renovated construction technology building shows the concept of the building when completed. Renovation construction will begin this summer. Submitted photo

A rendering from Bartlett Architecture of the renovated construction technology building shows the concept of the building when completed. Renovation construction will begin this summer. Submitted photo

Story by Joseph Rodgers, news editor

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Texas High will begin to undergo various district and campus-wide improvements, including the renovation of the construction technology building located beside the PAC into a multipurpose building that will feature a dance studio and locker room for the Texas HighSteppers, a new studio for TigerVision, and function as a testing center. The renovation comes from a school board-approved $5 million tax note from a monthly February meeting that will be used for a wide variety of district and campus improvements but cannot be used for any new construction. 

“We will work on the construction trade building and look to try to make it a ‘Tiger Studio’ which would consist of a dressing facility and a permanent practice facility for the drill team,” Chief Operations Officer Casey Nichols said. “We are also looking at moving some other programs out there, such as TigerVision and different performing arts and career-based courses that work closely with the PAC. Having them in close proximity [to the PAC] would work out well for them.”

The building will give the Texas HighSteppers their first official home on campus, allowing them to store their belongings in a locker room and giving them their own practice studio.

“The largest benefit that we have to get out of it will be that we will finally have a place for all of our stuff,” HighStepper Director Amber Reynolds said. “The HighSteppers will no longer have to carry all of their belongings around campus, and instead, they can put them in the studio in the morning and get dressed in the afternoon. We will also have uninterrupted practice and plenty of space all year wherever we perform or practice.”

The HighSteppers will no longer have to carry all of their belongings around campus, and instead, they can put them in the studio in the morning and get dressed in the afternoon.”

— Amber Reynolds

Additionally, the building will give TigerVision a new home with more space.

“The main benefit that we are looking at is more space,” TigerVision director Charles Aldridge said. “We’ve been growing out of the walls here for several years, and we have been in this location for 18 years. We just need more space, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a nice rebuild because we have wires and things that need to be repaired [and stored away]. We are working on the layout and the design of how we want it right now, so we’ll see what we get.”

The relocation will also strategically place TigerVision next to the PAC.

“The second benefit is being up next to the theater,” Aldridge said. “We do a lot of productions in the theater, so being right there next-door is going to be a big plus.”

The $5 million tax note will also be used for upgrades to various athletic facilities, including re-laying of the turf field in the multipurpose building and rebuilding the track field with turf.

“Unfortunately, there is the issue with a spring running underneath the track field which we encountered a decade ago, but instead of lifting it up again, we’re going to try to redo it,” Nichols said. “We want to also upgrade it to a UIL-spec track so we can have events and things like that there.”

Starting in next year’s season, the marching band will receive new uniforms.

“The current uniforms we have are about 10 years old, and the shakos are 20 years old. Everything is beginning to fall apart, and we barely have enough shakos to equip the full band,” band director Arnie Lawson said. “We will get a more contemporary-looking uniform for the Tiger Band so that we can look as good as we sound. We expect to receive our new uniforms late next fall.”

TISD plans to spread technology infusion across the district by purchasing more Chromebooks and iPads for in-classroom use. Algebra II teacher Nicole Ayers has hosted a pilot classroom for Chromebooks since last year, and the success of the technology has convinced the district to invest in more handheld devices.

Most students in my surveys about technology in the classroom say that the Chromebooks have had a positive impact on their learning since they can get immediate feedback.”

— Nicole Ayers

“This is my second year to have a classroom set of Chromebooks for my math classes,” Ayers said. “Most students in my surveys about technology in the classroom say that the Chromebooks have had a positive impact on their learning since they can get immediate feedback from an assignment and collaborate with their peers when working on projects and other group activities.”

The board of trustees has a significant number of other projects that are being considered but will not come to a final decision until after the board meetings in the upcoming months.

“Besides what we have already announced and the renovation of the construction trade building, there are several different things that we’re looking at right now, but we haven’t specifically said that these are the exact items we will do,” Nichols said. “We have a large scope of things that we’re looking at, especially at some of the ones that are the highest priority.”

Overall, the school board remains optimistic about the various improvements being made and hopes that students and faculty alike will feel and enjoy the impact that these improvements will make over the next year.

“I feel very confident in where we’re going to end up being [on these improvements],” Nichols said. “I’m very optimistic about how these improvements will shape up for us financially and how well received they will be.”

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About the Writer
Joseph Rodgers, news editor
Joseph Rodgers is a student at Texas High whose experiences in the infamous junior year should be featured on the survival show “Man vs Wild.” He checks his grades and his news alerts every half hour due to his always-stay-on-top attitude. His enthusiasm about being the co-news editor has forced him to make a blood covenant...
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