Facing rapid growth, the district and community realized they no longer were a “one high school” town. The district and the design team analyzed the programs at the existing high school and found that the close relationships developed between kids and teachers in a non-traditional group instruction program reached even the toughest at-risk students. Working with CAPACITY1,250COST PER SQ FT$93.06FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio architect, administrators toured several high schools and met with other districts; this resulted in a progressive program based on a grade-level house plan. Grades 9 and 10 were joined into multidisciplinary houses to help ninth-graders adjust to high school.
The first phase of the project has grouped three 30,000-square-foot, self-contained pods for ninth and tenth grades that are conducive to team-teaching.
Designers took advantage of the sloping site and positioned the building to sit low, gradually emerging into view with sympathetic proportions to the neighborhood. Inspired by an old house across from the school site, the district asked for low-maintenance materials such as sloped roofs, stone, wood and concrete to achieve a regional “Hill Country” look.
The project was completed 45 days ahead of schedule and $1.75 million under budget, resulting in one of the most cost-effective school projects designed in the district in years.