Designing Schools...With Kids in Mind!



...thank you for all your help and support for our school bond. Dixie made it happen for us. She organized our people and kept the momentum going until the election was held. All of these things helped to make our bond a success.

Mike Moon, Superintendent, Elkhart ISD

Elkhart High School

Elkhart ISD

The planning for this new high school began with staff-led facility tours. Thanks to local media, over 60 citizens participated. The unedited responses were compiled and sent to a committee for further study. Architects listened and translated the overall concepts into design options.

Stakeholder input and consensus-building resulted in a design that solved capacity issues at every campus, improved safety, addressed unique instructional programs, and met the community’s desire for efficient use of funds.

Coming from a campus with 16 outside entrances, safety was a priority. The administrative suite was designed to overlook the parking lot, spill into the main lobby, and open directly to the commons for clean lines of sight.

Municipal use was also key. The student commons not only separates noisy space from quiet, but also provides room for a variety of civic programs and student activities. Core spaces may easily be secured for after hours.

This design meets the needs of all students. From spacious fine arts classrooms to state-of-the-art science labs and updated Career and Technical Education labs, the building provides hands-on application for all learners. All classes include a Smart Board and wireless technology, and the building is monitored by a closed-circuit communication network. Ample natural light, used in most classrooms and in the floor-to-ceiling Library windows, has improved student behavior and connected them to their natural environment.

Because the district wanted a functional, creative, and cost effective school, architects had to innovate. The Library doubles as a board room with a secure back entrance. During the day, students use the board tables as study carrels. The student commons doubles as a cafeteria and performance hall. The second floor hallway is prewired for a sound board. By creating a stage between the gym and cafeteria, the design provides the district with assembly options, while maximizing square footage.

A compact, two-story design minimizes the building’s footprint. High efficiency spray foam insulation was chosen to ensure building integrity, prevent mold, and increase indoor air quality. Shading and canopy devices as well as Low-E insulated glass control heat gain while providing natural light. All spaces are equipped with occupancy sensors, ensuring energy conservation.

This facility alleviated district-wide overcrowding by allowing other campuses to spread out. Architects added value and reduced cost by maximizing space usage, selecting durable and cost effective finishes, and developing a site that allows future school construction.

Size: 94,000 SF
Grades Served: 9-12

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