Harlandale ISD opens new facilities

Officials from Harlandale Independent School District officially opened the latest additions to Harlandale and McCollum high schools at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 12.

Both school have received new band halls and field houses after nine months of design and construction. Harlandale ISD selected Jasmine Engineering, founded in 1984 by Jasmine Azima, to oversee the project’s development and urge contractors to stay on time and under budget.

Azima said the original plan for the new band halls and field houses estimated construction of 5,000 and 7,000 square feet, respectively.

The actual size of the facilities doubled to 13,000 square feet for the band halls and 14,000 square feet for the field houses. All the new facilities have been constructed to Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) standards, which seek to increase student performance and the entire educational experience by building the best possible schools, according to the www.chps.net.

Schools typically have better energy efficiency and show higher student performance when designed and certified to CHPS standards, Azima said.

The design standards in the new facilities place Harlandale ISD on a short list including 23 schools throughout Texas with CHPS design as of November 2011. Three of the schools are located in Northside ISD, and one in Northeast ISD, according to data from Azima.

There were 11 CHPS verified schools in Texas as of November 2011.

Environmentally conscious additions to the new buildings at Harlandale ISD include in new mechanical systems which have the highest rated energy efficiency available, and a life span of around 40 years, Azima said.

The band halls now feature sound-proof and practice rooms, along with offices, instrument lockers and acoustic design.

Azima said the field houses feature nearly $1 million in brand new equipment, including workout gear and projectors.

Additionally, there are large offices and separate locker rooms for athletes of the schools’ respective sports teams.

Leslie Garza, the public information officer for Harlandale ISD, said initial proposals for the buildings called for only basic remodeling and renovations. Those plans morphed into a complete overhaul of the facilities. “There is no denying what was needed at Harlandale High School,” Garza said at the Sept. 13 ribbon cutting-ceremony at that school. “The new band hall and field house are the future of music and sports at Harlandale High School.”

The former facilities had been in service for more than 50 years. The four new buildings – along with one baseball field accompanying – had an initial price tag nearly $13 million.

The new structures were completed under budget, freeing up nearly $400,000 to go back into the school district’s pocket, according to Azima.

Azima said Jasmine Engineering have worked with Harlandale ISD on previous projects funded through a 2006 $52.8 million bond issue.

mdwilson@primetimenewspapers.com

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11/1/2012