Aragon Middle School

Houston, Texas

  • FIRM



    Cypress-fairbanks Independent School District

  • AREA

    219,350 sq.ft.





Teachers, parents, students and administrators teamed up with the architect to design the safest, most functional and innovative school in the district.

The practical design of the new middle school was recognized immediately. Art instructors noticed windows overlooking a courtyard in the pod containing art labs. Similarly, liberal-arts teachers noticed the ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,350COST PER SQ FT$82.83CITATIONGold CitationFEATURED IN2002 Architectural Portfolio2003 Educational Interiors location of the speech classrooms, choir room, orchestra room and band halls. Specifically, they notice their proximity to a 2,300-square-foot stage in the dining hall.

The two-story wing of classrooms is laid out in a design of five four-room pods. Each pod shares a workroom and a book-storage room. A dual-duct HVAC system provides more control over the inside temperature and cuts costs. Low mercury lamps in the fluorescent fixtures also lower heat output and decrease electrical expense.

Safety drove much of the design. The primary safety feature is a 47-camera security system that monitors the entire school. Cameras view each exterior door, and motion detectors have been placed throughout the interior. The security system is monitored from a dedicated security room, situated in the administrative office wing.

All offices and many of the labs have tempered glass to allow visual control. Also, the doors within the classroom pods were positioned so that two to four teachers could monitor the hallways and lockers at all times.

"Exciting use of color and light...great graphics!—2003 EIS jury