Billy Earl Dade Middle School Learning Center
In 2011, the Dallas Independent School District selected KAI Texas in a joint venture to design a 1,000-student replacement middle school. The district was replacing a former elementary school turned middle school named for a longtime, well respected educator and community leader, Billy Earl Dade.
Charged with designing a facility that celebrated the cultural history ASSOCIATED FIRMMuñoz and Co.CAPACITY1,000COST PER SQ FT$170.20FEATURED IN2015 Architectural Portfolio pride of the community while honoring the Dade legacy, KAI Texas found design inspiration in Gee’s Bend Quilts. The patterns used on the curtain wall and colorful glass panels along the south-facing elevation represent a quilt, weaving the students and the community together into shared stories that will be told for generations. The walls along the two-story main lobby are lined with doors illustrating Dade’s mantra that “education opens the doors for opportunity.”
The three-floor facility has 22 uniquely designed classrooms and both outdoor and indoor educational spaces. It also has a 400-seat auditorium, a modern two-story media center and an indoor dining area that provides access to a landscaped courtyard. Additional innovative solutions include separation of the two gymnasiums and music rehearsal spaces.
The project used many unusual construction materials, components and systems. It was designed and constructed according to a district mandate that new schools meet Texas’ Collaborative for High-Performance Schools (CHPS) environmental standards. The school uses a geothermal HVAC system. Harmful emissions were reduced through the use of low-emitting volatile organic compound materials, and the landscape irrigation system, with moisture sensors and flow meters, reduced consumption from the city’s treated water supply.