Benavides Elementary School, built in Duvall County in South Texas, replaced a two-story, sun-dried and weathered building from the 1900s that once was the heart of Benavides, Texas. The new school took design elements from the former school, as well as other regional architectural detailing of the former oil-boom town. The tight-knit community overwhelmingly passed a CAPACITY300COST PER SQ FT$165.86FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio issue to build the new school.
The pre-K to fifth-grade campus separates bus and parent dropoffs with a covered canopy to serve both. Administration is situated to receive visitors directly from the front entry. The library opposite the hall is circular and surrounded by windows to let in morning light. At night, the entry skylight beckons the community with an inviting blue glow.
The school has 10 classrooms for pre-K through third grade, a resource classroom, two science/lab classrooms, a social studies classroom, two math classrooms, and two English classrooms for fourth and fifth grades. A life-skills classroom serves all grades. The new kitchen is the central kitchen for the district and serves meals to the nearby secondary campus as well.
The school is rich in color, which is most celebrated in its cafetorium. It has a raised stage area for school presentations. The community is very proud of its new jewel in the South Texas desert.