AUSTIN (KXAN) — Students at T.A. Brown Elementary walked into their brand new campus for the first time Wednesday morning.
Austin ISD and campus leadership cut the ribbon on what they call a state-of-the-art facility rooted in STEM classes — science, technology, engineering and math.
Modernization is a core value for the school, which is proudly green – for example, lunch trays are reusable to eliminate waste.
It will also focus on sustainability, health and well-being, transparency and connection to the community.
The campus and its students and teachers have weathered a long road to get to this point.
The old T.A. Brown Elementary was demolished in 2017 after a district engineering study found “structural deterioration” at the school.
Since then, a new campus emerged from the rubble, built on the existing site. AISD bond money funded the construction. The total budget for the project exceeded $30 million, according to AISD’s 2017 Bond Program.
“Being an educator waiting, you’re never just still,” Principal Veronica Sharp said. “So we’re always moving, and you’re always planning and have to work with what you have at that moment.
“With children, you have to be doing. You’re never sitting and waiting. So that time sometimes seemed longer than shorter, but we held onto values that we have and it’s about persistence, purpose, perseverance.”
She said they will be starting with 520 students. About half have only ever worked from portable classrooms, she added.
Webb Primary School merged with T.A. Brown in the process. They will also start the spring semester in the new facility.
Check out additional information and renderings of the project on the Austin ISD 2017 Bond Program website.