Austin ISD holds grand opening for new Ann Richards School campus

The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in South Austin underwent a huge facelift. Wednesday, they held a grand opening to acknowledge the hard work that went into creating the new campus.

"Just a few years ago we were standing on this very spot during the groundbreaking ceremony. We had just finished the planning and dreaming process of building a new school," said Kristina Waugh, Principal.

The new building opened back in January 2021, but not at full capacity. The pandemic put the grand opening and celebration on hold. Some students never even got to see their new building until the fall semester.

The 184,000 square feet facility includes collaborative and flexible spaces where students can think, learn and grow together. These spaces include large common spaces, makerspaces, and a slide- something the 6th and 7th graders already appreciate. One of them expressed their gratitude in a note.

"It says thank you. The donation from your tax money has really made our school a better more enjoyable place. When classes get hard, going down the side reminds me that I'm just a kid," said Waugh, reading a note from a student.

"These spaces provide our students with hands-on experience, real academic knowledge comes from doing, not from watching," said Dr. Stephanie Elizalde, Superintendent.

This project was funded by you, the taxpayers. It's all part of the 2017 bond program passed by voters. Officials said now the appearance of the school can match the mission for the all-girl school, which has 894 students, 6th through 12th grade.

"The Ann Richards School has been a national model of public single gender education," said Arati Singh, AISD Board of Trustees.

"Our school was founded in 2007 with a mission to advance girls' education by having them attend and graduate from college, lead with courage and compassion and commit to a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle," said Waugh.

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