Built in the rapidly growing Katy ISD, Seven Lakes High School and ninth-grade center is the sixth high school and second modified repeat of the existing Cinco Ranch High School. Although the footprint remains similar to its predecessor, the new school has been modified and altered according to changes in the district’s instructional program, user suggestions and CAPACITY3,000COST PER SQ FT$102.00FEATURED IN2007 Architectural Portfolio to facility standards. Additionally, exterior elevations have been modified to provide the campus a unique community image and identity.
The 613,066-square-foot campus includes a ninth-grade center and central plant, and is master-planned to accommodate a new junior high school in the future. The master plan incorporates similar materials and design elements to create a unique, campus-like environment. Because the site was undeveloped and construction of the high school began prior to surrounding developments, the district faced numerous challenges associated with extending utilities to the site and with drainage. The design team worked hand-in-hand with campus end users and developers to coordinate and schedule construction of the utilities to the site.
Organization of the high school and ninth-grade center plan was simplified by positioning all educational spaces around a centralized, main “mall” spine that runs the entire length of the building. This creates a simple system of egress and access to the various classroom wings and departments. The school is divided into two main wings that feed off of a central rotunda. This rotunda acts as a hinge—tying the facility together and acting as the heart of the campus.
Innovative technology was incorporated throughout the facility. Student and teacher workstations are present in every classroom and seven computer labs offer state-of-the-art hardware and software technology. Educational programs integrate contemporary equipment into everyday classroom experiences. For example, the industry technology program offers a health occupations and technology lab, enabling students to be one step ahead of modern technology.