April 12, 2018—In helping some of its youngest students as they begin their educational journey, CFISD and community supporters did just that with the construction of Hoover Elementary School, which was made possible by bond funds at a cost of bond funds.
The $25,110,000 project opened its doors in August as CFISD’s 56th elementary school, but is the first to not use the kindergarten-through-fifth-grade model. Hoover instead, houses students in pre-kindergarten through second grade, allowing for a smaller teaching and learning community for children beginning their path in education.
Hoover neighbors Jowell Elementary School, which now houses third-through-fifth-grade students.
“The idea of Hoover, with the pre-K through 2, it’s all about the foundation,” said Michelle Rice, who was named Hoover’s inaugural principal in January. “It’s about building that strong foundation, to where – when they’re ready to go to Jowell and then on to middle school and high school – they have those core building blocks that start their education career.”
Designed by VLK Architects and built by DivisionOne Construction, Hoover is a 112,000 square-foot campus featuring 12 classrooms and four flex areas for each grade level. The single-story school is designed to accommodate roughly 1,100 students.
In addition to collaborative areas and flexible seating options, learning opportunities were also incorporated into the school’s design. Graphics are aligned to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for geometry and measurements at each grade level, while color schemes were also put in place to help foster literacy and engagement.
“It’s not just about the teacher that teaches now,” Rice said. “The building actually has tools that we utilize to teach our kids also.”
Hoover also gives its surrounding neighborhoods a gem and campus to be proud of in an area of CFISD where many students are economically disadvantaged. This is just another example of “CFISD for All” and Dr. Mark Henry, superintendent of schools, crediting the district’s ability to give every student within its boundaries the same experience.
“When you have students who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, having a beautiful school helps them to learn,” said Ellen Luchak, a second-grade reading/writing teacher at Hoover. “They have something beautiful to come to. Even if home may not be beautiful or situation at home may not be good, there’s somewhere to come where it’s beautiful, where they’re loved and where they can be valued.”