HISD Bonds: HSPVA wants crowd relief - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

HISD Bonds: HSPVA wants crowd relief

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The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is a place where artistry and learning routinely hit a kind of creative critical mass.

You want proof of performance?  How about consistently ranking among the nation's top public schools and attracting nearly $17 million worth of college scholarship offers in 2011 alone.

"Each year, we have about 2,000 students audition for about 200 spots.  We really have the best of the best in the Houston area," HSPVA Principal Scott Allen said.

And yet, despite a $4-million building makeover, Allen's campus has one "unfixable" flaw.

"We are seeing lots of kids with lots of talent and no room to do what's best for them," Allen said as students completely engulfed a hall at the end of the school day.

HSPVA is chronically crowded. Almost all of the school's jam-packed musicians practice in the halls.  Dancers unable to a cram into a studio often rehearse in the school common space instead.

"We are about 150 students over the capacity of the building," Allen said.  "You hear the instruments.  They are practicing all over the building.  We make use of all the nooks and crannies because it's just not built for what we do here."

Allen's kids are quick to offer confirmation.

"We're always rehearsing in places we are not supposed to be and that's because we don't have a lot of space," Ebrin Stanley, a senior drama student, said.

"We get great results at HSPVA; our kids are successful," Allen said.  "If we had a facility that fit the needs of our kids, the successes would be even greater."

If voters give the Houston Independent School District's $1.9 billion bond proposal the go-ahead, the new HSPVA campus will be built downtown, less than a mile from the city's fine arts district.

Allen called it the kind of extraordinary access that can help truly fulfill his students' potential.

"To see professional artists working day by day along side them; they'll grow, immensely."

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