Community members watch the cornerstone ceremony performed by Masonic Lodge #177 of Houston.

The Houston School District showcased a recently completed bond issue with an open house Wednesday afternoon for the community.

Superintendent Scott Dill said a new structure connecting the former high school and middle school buildings was ready to host students Aug. 13 — the first official day of the 2015-’16 school year.

Dill marked the significance in a message recently to school patrons: “The school year will be unique in the history of the Houston R-I School District as we realize the conclusion of all the projects associated with the 2013 bond issue. Our students will be beneficiaries of these projects for generations to come, but we will have the singular honor of being here to participate in these inaugural moments.”

Dill and the Houston board of education want patrons to see the work, too. An open house will follow a cornerstone ceremony.

Masonic Lodge #177 in Houston will hold it at 1 p.m. in front of the new entrance to the high school and middle school on Pine Street. Students are compiling a time capsule that will be placed behind the cornerstone.

More than two years ago — in April 2013 — voters approved a no-tax bond issue earmarked to make several improvements on campus:

•An expanded cafeteria for the high school and middle schools was completed earlier. Before, a lack of space resulted in staggered shifts with some students returning again to the same classroom they left to have their lunch.

•A new media (library) that is a centerpiece of construction that connects the high school and middle schools. A unified entrance is created for the middle and high schools.

•New roofs to repair many that had been patched beyond further repair.

•Air conditioning for the first time in Hiett Gymnasium.

•An elevator to make the building accessible to anyone.

Patrons approved the issue overwhelmingly. About 72 percent okayed it. The general contractor for the work was Gentry Construction Co. of Houston. 

Open house

Superintendent Scott Dill addresses members of the community at Wednesday’s open house.

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