The China Spring High School expansion and remodeling is nearly complete, with only a few hallways to be finished before its dedication ceremony at the end of April.
Voters approved the $15.3 million bond in May 2013 to remedy overcrowding at the high school, and China Spring ISD Superintendent Marc Faulkner is eager to show the community the improvements.
The high school will be open to the community for tours at 6 p.m. April 30. Refreshments will be served.
The campus received about 30,000 square feet in addition to the athletics wing, a new band hall with ample storage space and 13 new classrooms, including a computer lab. The district also completed about 30,000 square feet in renovations, improving the band hall and most of the restrooms.
China Spring ISD’s administration spent about $13 million improving the high school and used the remaining $2 million for projects at the elementary and middle schools.
The high school athletics department gained a new training room, an additional locker room and showers.
Faulkner said the entire renovation project was worth it to build the new multipurpose cafeteria that now seats 450 people comfortably and has room for three kitchen lines.
The former cafeteria was so crowded that students were sitting on the floor during lunch, Faulkner said.
“It’s going to last 20 to 30 years like it’s supposed to,” he said.
The elementary school received a new gym and classrooms, and the middle school received a black box theater.
The school district’s staff is grateful to the community for supporting the expansion, Faulkner said.
“Our community is so supportive of athletics and band, we got a little upgrade there,” he said.
China Spring ISD band director Pam Hyatt said the new space will make rehearsal time much more efficient.
The former space was built for 120 students and the current band has an enrollment of 180 and is expected to top 200 next school year, Hyatt said.
“We were basically tripping over each other,” she said.
The new storage space and extra practice rooms will allow rehearsals to continue while students clean or pack away their instruments, she said.
The new stained-concrete flooring also is much more sanitary than the carpet that previously was used, she said.
“It is quite different from our old rooms,” she said. “It’s a little bit more live-sounding, but the kids are doing well to adjusting to those sounds.”
China Spring ISD grew steadily for the past decade, Faulkner said.
The student population increased from 1,600 in 2004 to almost 2,500 students this school year, with the high school boasting more than 700 students.
This was the fifth bond expansion in the past 20 years, which is evidence of the community’s strong support for education, Faulkner said.
“We haven’t had a single issue with this entire project,” he said.