Designing Schools...With Kids in Mind!



I can’t thank you enough for listening to our needs and putting them into place as you designed our school. The opening of our new High School has been easier than I ever thought it could be. Thank you for all you have done for the teachers and students of Decatur High School. I cherish your friendship!”

Melinda Reeves, Principal, Decatur High School

Decatur High School

Decatur ISD

The school was built to fulfill needs for capacity in a growing district. The school functions much like a college—there are learning opportunities in many areas.

All program areas housed in the main building are accessible from the main corridor which extends the length of the building allowing students, faculty and administration quick movement between areas.

The building is designed to accommodate after hours use by separately secured building sections. The classrooms, grouped by discipline, allow team teaching and collaborative learning. They includes shared science lab prep rooms and computer labs.

The district’s desire to include many areas of study for a variety of student needs in the community led to a campus with extra curricular studies that offers students specialized knowledge. Major site program elements include: Agriculture Barn, Vocational Building, Greenhouse, and 750 seat Auditorium (with Choir, Band, and Lecture Halls). In addition, the school was designed with a competition gym that is viewable from the main corridor.

Early Planning:
Extensive studies were conducted to determine background and culture of surrounding area.  Studies were then implemented into design of facility. Architects led a team of principals, teachers, & board members who worked together to generate ideas. Site is adjacent to existing elementary school, so careful planning took place to insure safety of cars & busses traveling on & off site.

Design:
School was built to fulfill needs for capacity in a growing district. School functions much like a college; there are learning opportunities in many areas.  Design elements include: Ag. Barn, Vocational Bldg., Greenhouse, competition Gym, 750 seat Auditorium w/ Choir & Band Halls, & Lecture Hall. Elements of main building function off main corridor that extends length of building.  All areas of the building can be accessed from corridor; allows students & admins quick movement between areas.

Educational Appropriateness:
Classrooms grouped by discipline allow team teaching & collaborative learning. This includes shared science lab prep rooms & computer labs. District wanted to include many areas of study for variety of student needs in the community; led to campus w/ extra curricular studies that offer students specialized knowledge. Building is designed to accommodate after hours use by separately secured building sections. School was designed with competition gym that is viewable from main corridor.

Innovation:
Design accommodates multiple teaching methods. School is set up w/ security system to keep administration informed of activities around building & site. Clerestory windows in commons areas provide healthy natural light. Students are able to look down into media center from all three stories of classroom wing. All spaces are set up for wireless access. Support spaces, the gym, dining, music, & media center can be used without interrupting classes, & function for after hours use.

Size: 254,000 SF
Capacity: 1200
Grades Served: 9-12

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