The floors are polished, signage is up and as the new school year begins, Alvin ISD is ready for the opening of Iowa Colony High School.
Using their motto: “Blazing the Trail” the new school will not include Junior and Senior classes for the next few years. Freshman students will enter the school’s doors for the first time on Aug. 17, while Sophomores will begin classes the following day, with 822 total students registered this first year. The high school has a capacity of 2,500 students once junior and senior classes are present.
The 553,086 square foot high school was built at a cost of $132,450,966, less than the $178,528,000 projected in a 2018 Bond election, with construction on the school beginning in 2019. A junior high school is already under construction on land adjacent to the high school.
There will be 108 employees at Iowa Colony High School, including teachers, coaches and office staff.
As the District provides new safety protection for students, guidelines have been followed to require visitors to the school to enter through only one set of doors, and must be buzzed in from the front office staff.
Other safety requirements have been included in the construction, after the state of Texas added new steps to ensure that doors and gates will be locked securely. The doors cannot be propped open. Cameras have been installed in all of the hallways, and two Alvin ISD police officers, all trained in dealing with mental health issues, will be on campus, with others rotating through the high school. Classroom doors are locked while classes are held, and keys must be removed when doors are locked.
There will only be two doors for students to enter the building, and at the start of the day, and after school, the back doors will be locked.
State auditors will visit the new school to make sure the doors meet the new security requirements. However, AISD administrators added to the state list of security measures, including some which have been implemented in other schools in the district for years.
Moving from one classroom to another will be easy for students, since each hallway has a name at its entrance.
Wide hallways, classrooms that accommodate students with special needs, medical classes and all of the traditional high school sports, with three gyms, two weight rooms, a swimming pool, where a swim team will practice, as well as a water polo team…. are part of the new complex.
Not only will standard classes be taught, but also some that can lead to immediate job ready status, if a student chooses to go that direction.
Students can graduate as an Emergency Medical Technician certificate, if they have an interest in that field. Classes in cosmetology and dental assistants are also available to students at Iowa Colony High School.
The school library holds 630 boxes of books, which totals 14,000 books, all unpacked. Catalogued and shelved by 38 librarians in one day.
The auditorium seats 800, had an automatic screen and stage for events such as plays, and can be rented out. Behind the scenes is a dressing room, prop room and “black box” where drama students can practice.
An orchestra pit was built in front of the stage for musical events.
The Special Education Department provides not only for classroom work, but also kitchens for meal preparation training. In that part of the new high school, there will be Behavioral Intervention classes, Skills classes, and anger and behavioral classrooms.
Cleaning the large complex will be easier with the new robot cleaner, one of only two in the state of Texas.