Roy Lee Walker Elementary School

McKinney, Texas

  • FIRM



    McKinney Independent School District

  • AREA

    68,800 sq.ft.





This 8.5-acre site is the home of one of the most comprehensive sustainable schools in the United States. Sustainable or high-performance design demonstrates sensitivity to the needs not only of the environment, but also of the students in the learning environment. Walker Elementary School goes beyond the traditional sense of a school building serving as a place ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY680COST PER SQ FT$135.03CITATIONElementary School Citation, Gold CitationFEATURED IN2001 Educational Interiors2001 Architectural PortfolioINTERIOR CATEGORYClassrooms learning—it becomes part of the learning process.

One of the school’s unique elements is the use of space in the classroom wings. Rather than wasting, in effect, thousands of square feet on hallways, the design team widened the classroom hallways and incorporated this space into the learning environment. Classrooms are open to these corridors, and teachers can use the space for group activities. Also, placing computers in these corridors provided a unique technology solution. Rather than isolate four computers in each classroom, locating them instead in the corridor provides full computer labs in each classroom wing.

Sustainable features include daylighting, rainwater harvesting, solar energy, wind energy, sundials, native landscaping, recycled building materials, a weather station and water habitat.

"This environmentally friendly school also has classroom wings whose openness supports interactions between students and staff and shared technology."--2001 jury