Education News

PHOTOS: Kinder High School For The Performing And Visual Arts Inaugurates New Downtown Campus

We take a peek inside the new 168,000-square-foot building that spans five stories.

The Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts inaugurated its new downtown campus Monday, where more than 750 students will study music, dance, theater and other arts.

Previously located in Montrose, the downtown campus places the fine arts school closer to the city’s arts and theater district. The 168,000-square-foot building has five-stories of classroom and program space, as well as two levels of underground parking.  

Though students started classes on the new campus on January 7, the grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting took place February 4 in one of the school’s central areas: the Ruth Denney Theatre. 

The opening ceremony featured performances by students.

“The main theater, the Denney Theatre, is sort of the heart of the whole thing, so everything surrounds this from the first floor all the way to the fifth floor,” Principal Scott Allen, previously told Houston Matters

With a capacity to seat 800 people, the Denney Theatre can be used for every kind of performing art as well as to host all-school assemblies. In addition to the Denney Theater, the new campus also contains a black box theater, dance and music studios, and a fitness center, among other amenities.

But the new campus also came with its share of controversy, after the Houston school board accepted a $7.5 million donation from the Kinder Foundation to fill a budget shortfall in exchange for naming rights. As of December 2018, HISD still had not received the funds in its account, a public records request by News 88.7 found. The first installment of the funds was later transferred at the beginning of January.