On November 7, 2017, Austin voters passed Austin Independent School District’s (AISD) bond proposal for over $1 billion to create 21st-century learning spaces. More than two years of intensive analysis, planning and work went into the bond, which is designed to replace, improve, renovate and equip facilities for AISD’s approximately 83,000 students and 12,000 employees. Every school benefits.
In preparation for their bond proposal, AISD selected AECOM in March 2016 to perform a comprehensive facility condition assessment and educational suitability analysis for all AISD facilities. Having only three months over the summer to conduct site visits at every campus, athletic center and administrative/support facility, we increased the number of field teams to accommodate and execute the accelerated schedule. The results of the assessment and educational suitability analysis served as the basis for AISD’s 2017 bond referendum.
After the overwhelming support from the community for its planned capital program, AISD selected AECOM to provide program management services for 18 new and modernized campuses.
The 2017 Bond Capital Improvement Program is closely aligned with AECOM’s ESG strategy, Sustainable Legacies, and we are honored to work in partnership with AISD to leave a positive, lasting impact on our communities in Austin.
Key projects in the bond include:
- Constructing new or modernized campus facilities
- Improvements to address overcrowding and critical needs
- Districtwide improvements to technology for teachers and students and transportation
We recently celebrated grand opening milestones at the following schools as part of the Program:
Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders
The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders comprises an all-female population that is committed to building the community and to changing the world. The new school includes collaborative and flexible spaces, a large dining commons, makerspaces, learning neighborhoods for each grade level and a running track and practice field, a media center with a two-story slide, a learning staircase and outdoor reading porch overlooking the Austin skyline. The modernized facility recently achieved LEED Silver certification for its energy-efficient lighting, water-reducing fixtures and improved air quality filtration.
Austin High School
Located in the heart of the city, Austin High School was founded in 1881 is the oldest continuously operating public high school in the state of Texas. It was crucial that the addition and renovations complimented the rich history of the campus. Through creative design methods and repurposing materials, Austin High School received a full running track replacement; a new addition that supports the dance and athletic programs; and a renovation for core academics including special education, career and technical education, life skills and fine arts. The south side of the building features a new glass stair tower that lets in radiant light as students and staff go between levels. The tower was built with high-end flooring and vinyl graphics displaying the Maroon spirit.
Eastside Early College High School
Eastside Early College High School offers students free college-level courses with the opportunity to graduate with both an Austin ISD diploma and an associate’s degree from Austin Community College. Co-located with Eastside, the International High School offers bilingual and multilingual programs to international students as they transition to public education in the United States.
The new Eastside ECHS at the Original L.C. Anderson campus and International HS is designed to honor the past, excel in the present and provide pathways to the future. The Original L.C. Anderson High School had an 82-year history of serving the African American community in East Austin until it was closed in 1971 by a federal court as part of desegregation. Significant elements of the original building were reconstructed during the modernization, including the 1950’s style of the original front of the school, band hall, choir room, cafeteria and original classroom wing, which now serve a variety of functions. This blending of the past and present creates a new campus that is focused on early college and allied health career programs. The campus also features state-of-the-art technology and flexible learning spaces as well as a large multi-use outdoor courtyard.
The Rosedale School offers tailored educational opportunities and quality instruction for children with severe special needs, including children who are medically fragile or need intensive behavioral support. The campus also houses the Transition to Life in the Community program, which prepares older students for postsecondary life. Austin ISD will modernize the Rosedale facility, delivering a new campus located at the current Lucy Read Pre-K site that is custom-built to meet the needs of Rosedale students.