The main concept behind creating the Sarah & Troy LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex was to design a building that would enable students to learn in a technical and professional environment, and prepare them for the “real world.” Situated in the Denton Independent School District, this specialized facility offers top-notch educational programs CAPACITY1,200COST PER SQ FT$129.64FEATURED IN2008 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized customized, state-of-the art career and technical learning environments.
During programming, designers faced many interesting challenges. A key challenge involved designing a green, environmentally friendly facility. A design was developed to work with the topography and preserve the natural organic features of the site, which enabled the final design to adapt to the environment.
Constructed by using the construction manager at-risk delivery method, the facility incorporates durable, cost-effective materials throughout that are maintenance-friendly and help reduce overall life-cycle costs.
The complex accommodates a diverse range of specialized curriculum, containing nine unique academies, each designed to reflect real- world working environments. The advanced academies: pre-engineering, medical/allied health, education internship, legal and protective services, visual arts and communications, business/marketing/finance, computer technology, applied technology and personal services.
The overall design of the complex incorporates specialized elements in each academy, offering optimum learning environments. Modern design encourages teamwork and resource-sharing opportunities among all students in the same program of study. The academies also offer designated areas for student and teacher workstations that can be reconfigured for a variety of instruction delivery methods. These workstations are enhanced with technology that is available for use in everyday learning concepts.
By working closely with school district officials, the city of Denton, parents, teachers and community members, the architects gained insight into the development of this innovative facility. The complex acts as a center of unity for Denton County, offering advanced technology courses for high school students and adults.
The Sarah & Troy LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex is “one of a kind.” No other facility in the nation combines all of these specialized venues on one campus and affects learning in such an innovative way. Through strategic solutions, the end users and design professionals executed a plan that intends to raise the bar for future facilities not only in Texas, but also across the nation.