Wharton Dual Language Academy Celebrates Grand Opening of New Campus

Featuring open spaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, and outdoor learning commons, Wharton Dual Language Academy’s new $39.2 million campus inspires excellence and creativity while empowering Wharton students as they become life-long bilingual and biliterate citizens.

On April 25, 2019, CBRE | Heery’s Houston program management team joined students, teachers and the Wharton community to celebrate the grand opening of their new and improved school building. Wharton K-8 Dual Language Academy, formerly known as Wharton Elementary, is the oldest dual language program in Houston Independent School District (HISD) and was expanded to a K-8 Academy in 2008-2009. However, the original 1929 structure, augmented by several additions and a large number of temporary buildings, was inadequate for the educational program, student capacity, and 21st century learning. Funded through the 2012 Bond Program, the project included an 89,000 square foot addition to accommodate secondary programming and support areas, as well as extensive renovation of the original structure to provide adequately sized classrooms and restrooms along with new life safety and mechanical systems. The three-story addition included classrooms, science labs, a multi-purpose room used as a gym and performing arts area, a central library/media center, new kitchen and cafeteria, administration areas with a secure entrance vestibule, and a new central plant to operate the facility. The redevelopment of the site provided new playgrounds and walking track, expanded parking and play fields, and a central courtyard that doubles as an outdoor learning area.

CBRE | Heery provided overall planning, project management, design review, bid/award phase services, construction management, FF&E, move coordination, project closeout and warranty phase services for this 900-student capacity school. The project team also worked with multiple consultants to assure the original building was abated of all hazardous material and the envelope was repaired to address water intrusion concerns and modern energy codes, while maintaining the historic facade. Due to the level of renovations and prohibitive site constraints, CBRE | Heery worked with HISD to construct a temporary campus on the playfields of a nearby campus. The “Wharton Village” as it became lovingly known, allowed the school to maintain instruction and student support services to their growing student body for 18-months, occupying the new facility in January 2019.