This new 800 student Pre-K through fifth-grade elementary school campus was designed to replace an aging and obsolete campus constructed in a nearby neighborhood almost sixty years ago. Student safety, security, and energy efficiency were primary design drivers which shaped much of the campus and site design.
This south Texas coastal suburban community has a rich architectural tradition shaped by the post-World War II school building boom. The campus architecture draws from that 1950’s modern architectural heritage while integrating the most current building materials and technologies. The extensive use of masonry and durable, low maintenance materials provides the School District with long-term value. This new campus is highly resistant to hurricane force winds and the corrosive coastal atmosphere.
Energy efficiency was a key goal for the District in the design of this campus. The building incorporates a multitude of energy saving features. Ninety-five percent of the lighting in the building is LED with digital controls. The campus layout and window orientation were shaped by the desire to place windows for the most beneficial solar exposure. All south facing windows utilize solar screening to keep direct sunlight from entering the classrooms.
The classroom wings of the building surround the playground on three sides. This eliminates the visibility of students to street traffic while outdoors. Generous canopies cover exterior walkways and gathering spaces and help reduce the students’ exposure to the harsh south Texas sun.
Statistics prove that standardized math and science test scores are higher for students that are taught in spaces with natural light. Natural light and carefully placed windows are used throughout the building and in every classroom.
The interior corridor design incorporates recessed areas between the masonry colonnade. These areas are filled with tackable wall panels to create a virtual continuous wall exhibit of student work and art. The Learning Resources Center serves as both the literal and figurative center of this new neighborhood campus. This school is truly a wonderful blend of both the latest technologies and time-tested traditional school design elements.