Rain or shine, there is never a bad time to celebrate progress, and not even a torrential downpour could keep the community away from Scarborough High School last week as the school commemorated a milestone several years in the making.
On March 29, hundreds were on hand to witness Scarborough break ground on renovations approved under a 2012 bond program, officially accepting $12.6 million for improvements to existing facilities to bring the campus into the modern era.
Though Scarborough is proud of its history, maintaining the infrastructure of a school can be just as grueling as, say, a daily exercise regimen. No matter the effort, time takes its toll, and things change, and Principal Diego Linares said the time had simply come for Scarborough to reinvent itself.
“Maintaining a school is very much like going the gym. You try to keep in shape, but age takes its course—things start to degrade and start to look different. The same things happen with buildings,” he said.
Enter Houston ISD Trustee Anna Eastman, who HISD Chief of Schools Steven Gutierrez said was the loudest voice in talking up Scarborough and its students as deserving recipients.
“We have a future generation of Spartans that are going to be proud to call this their home,” he said. “Thank you (Anna Eastman) for having the courage and foresight to say that our students deserve the best schools, and that our schools will be the model for other schools in the 21st century.”
Among the improvements to come are a new 13,000 square-foot JROTC building; classroom renovations and technology upgrades; improvements to athletics fields and a tennis court; and a new secure welcome center that will become the focal point at the front of the campus.
Eastman herself was on hand Wednesday, and raved about the upcoming improvements.
“Every time I walk into this auditorium, I am amazed. It is a beautiful space and a historic space,” she said. “To know it’s getting a $13 million facelift is exciting. It’s exciting to know we’re accepting this help so that students will have brick and mortar, state of the art spaces to do the things they love doing.”
A renovation is not about the money, recognition or notoriety, but improving students’ futures and providing tools to be at their disposal, whatever their strengths may be — and all on hand spoke to such a sentiment.
“We are a school that builds on the strengths of our students rather than focusing on their deficits,” Linares said. “We view failure as a temporary bother rather than a permanent state, and we’re now on the verge of a building that will meet all our students’ needs.”
Gutierrez recalled a visit to the school just weeks prior which cemented the notion that all Scarborough needed was an exterior facelift to reflect the beauty of those walking within its halls.
“It might be easy to say ‘Oh it’s just a building.’ But let me tell you something — it’s about the people, it’s about you. It’s about those inside this school who make it so great,” he said. “We left here amazed with the people, the leadership team, the questions teachers were asking and the responses we were getting.”
“You guys are doing the hard work here at Scarborough to build upon the children’s strengths,” Eastman added. “It’s something I’m proud of, I can’t wait to see the space take shape.”