Designing Schools...With Kids in Mind!



We owe our overwhelming community support for the bond package to Dixie..... Her expertise and experience proved invaluable.

George Kazanas, Former Superintendent, China Spring ISD

China Spring Intermediate School

China Spring ISD

The architects used the district’s demographic study and GIS analysis to study potential sites near the predicted growth areas. Having multiple stakeholders provide input from the beginning of the project ensured that the school would meet the unique needs of this community.

Because the school serves grades 4 thru 6, the design needed to “feel” comfortable to students, yet provide for the increased academic and social challenges they face. By utilizing a Main Street Concept, students and staff have greater connectedness and accessibility. The intuitive design provides clear lines of sight for administrators and efficient traffic flow for students. By using school colors throughout, the District builds on its own “brand” and fosters a sense of community pride.

The design incorporates the media center at the “heart” of the school, with other hallways branching out from it. Attached to the media center is the computer lab, which connects virtual learning with hands-on discovery. The design creates a separation of public and private space to minimize classroom distractions. Also, the play fields are located in the back of the site, adjacent to bordering neighborhoods to encourage community usage.

Planning and Process
Architects used the District’s demographic study and GIS analysis to study several potential sites, near predicted growth areas.  The site chosen bordered a regional airport, so further coordination was necessary with local and FAA officials to ensure the integrity and functionality of the school’s design.  Having multiple stakeholders provide input from the beginning of the project ensured that the school would meet the unique needs of this community.

Design
The design incorporates the media center at the “heart” of the school, with other hallways branching out from it.  Attached to the media center is the computer lab, which connects virtual learning with hands-on discovery.  The design provides for separation of public and private space to minimize classroom distractions.  Additionally, the play fields are located in the back of the site, adjacent to bordering neighborhoods to encourage community usage. 

Educational Appropriateness
Because the school serves grades 4 – 6, the design needed to “feel” comfortable to students, yet provide for the increased academic and social challenges they face.  By utilizing a Main Street Concept, students and staff have greater connectedness and accessibility.  The intuitive design provides clear lines of site for administrators and efficient transitioning for students.  By using school colors throughout, the District builds on its own “brand” and fosters a sense of community pride.

Innovation
All spaces are set up for wireless access. The school is equipped with a state-of-the-art security system as well as a closed-circuit student communication network.  The school also features an outdoor classroom, which is appropriately located between the main classroom wings.  Clerestory windows in common areas provide healthy natural light for optimum learning.  Support spaces, gym, dining, music, & media center function separately from rest of school for after hours use.

Sustainability
Commons areas are bathed in natural light, lowering utility costs.  School was designed to exceed strict energy code requirements. An energy management system monitors and controls energy use to maximize savings and ensure energy conservation. Dedicated outside air units reduce CO2 levels and improve indoor air quality for students and staff. Local suppliers were chosen to reduce the overall environmental impact of the project.

Value
Elegant and durable laminate flooring anchors the building with interesting patterns and colors. Building materials, such as exterior masonry, meet 50-year durability criteria to maximize the taxpayers’ investment. The gym/stage, dining area,  music space, and the media center can be used separately without interrupting academics.

Size: 91,225 SF
Capacity: 800
Grades Served: 4-6

Claycomb Associates, Architects provides architectural and master planning services to school districts throughout Texas.
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