Designing Schools...With Kids in Mind!



The Royse City Board and I would like to thank you for the excellent job you and your staff continue to do for the District. You and your company have definitely become a valued partner with the District. Your attention to the details and knowing the desires of our community before drawing sets you apart.

Jimmy Butler, Chief Financial Officer, Royse City ISD

Royse City Intermediate School

Royse City ISD

Through interactive, collaborative design charettes with school staff and teachers, the architects developed a cost effective school design, which emphasized, instructional program delivery, flexible and adaptable use of space, community multipurpose use, efficient traffic flow and safety.

The school’s compact, 2-story layout conveniently allows all spaces to be in close proximity to one another. The lofted main corridor establishes a natural separation of noisy and quite spaces.

All the classrooms are clustered around the bright and inviting Media Center, which is the central focus to the school’s learning environment.

The design addresses the district’s current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs through automated Energy Management Systems, light harvesting, motion-sensor lighting, and sustainable landscaping design.

The school is designed with community access and use in mind. This flexible multipurpose design maximizes the community’s investment by giving them not only a great educational environment for their children, but also a beautiful community space for events and programs.

Planning and Process
From extensive meetings held with district administrators, teachers, and community members, the architects identified facility planning needs, key budgetary factors and development priorities.  The district wanted the architects to address their need for more capacity due to their rapidly growing district by developing a flexible, creative and cost effective school designed to deliver instruction to a community of eager learners.
The district considered four potential sites, and the architects provided input about the development feasibility of each site under consideration.  Of the four sites under consideration, the final site selected offered the greatest value to the district by allowing enough room for the future construction of a Middle School, expanded parking, ball fields, and a stadium.

Design
Through interactive design charettes with school staff and teachers, the architects collaboratively developed a cost effective school design, which emphasized, instructional program delivery, flexible and adaptable use of space, community multipurpose use, efficient traffic flow and safety. 
The result of their collaborative efforts produced a compact, 2-story school design.  The school’s compact layout conveniently allows all spaces to be in close proximity to one another.  The lofted main corridor establishes a natural separation of noisy and quite spaces.   Stairwells in each corridor allow students and administration quick movement between areas. 
The school functions much like a college—there are learning opportunities in many areas.  All the classrooms are clustered around the bright and inviting Media Center, which is the central focus to the school’s learning environment.  
Safe and secure, the administrative suite commands a view of the entrance and main lobby; campus visitors gain entry and must check-in at the reception area.  The separate bus drop-off area ensures safe movement of students to and from the building while also improving traffic flow.  The separate exterior entrances to the multi-purpose gym and student commons also enhance after hours event traffic flow and building security. 

Educational Appropriateness
Through interviews with school administration and teachers, the architects identified and prioritized the educational program needs of this 5th-6th grade campus, which included network access throughout the campus, natural light in every classroom, easily accessible common areas, separate noisy and quite spaces, and classrooms clustered for team teaching.
Classrooms grouped by grade and discipline allow team teaching and collaborative learning.  Fully wired classrooms allow access to interactive learning tools via campus wide network.  Natural lighting in every classroom enhances learning—interior classrooms and corridors “borrow” natural light from common areas. 
The Media Center’s design delivers “point and click” retrieval of information and access to interactive tools.  It features fun, comfortable, technology-rich spaces to conduct enhanced teach teaching and special education programs.

Innovation
The district’s need to save money and reduce cost inspired several innovative solutions.  The compact, 2-story design minimizes the building’s footprint while allowing close adjacency and connectedness between classrooms and common spaces.  Borrowed light from Multi-Purpose Activity area brightens
second-story academic corridor and creates sense of openness.   The Main Entry Corridor creates connectivity between first and second floor.
The floor to ceiling exterior windows of the Media Center allows light and the natural surroundings to brighten and enliven this space.  The massive interior windows draw in the light to brighten the interior corridors and classrooms while creating visual connection and interest.
Enclosed corridors and spaces create sound buffers between quite and noisy spaces to minimize distractions and enhance learning.  In addition, they allow zoning to create secure and energy efficient spaces.

Sustainability
We addressed the district’s current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs through automated Energy Management Systems, light harvesting, motion-sensor lighting, and sustainable landscaping design.
Campus-wide “smart systems” save money and precious natural resources.  Energy Management System reduces HVAC requirements and energy usage by only directing climate control resources to the areas in use.  Dedicated outside air units reduce CO2 levels and improve indoor air quality for students and staff.  Clerestory areas used throughout the school harvest natural light and reduce energy usage.
Campus wide native plantings and trees establish sustainable landscaping for decades to come.  By selecting native plant materials, minimal watering is required to maintain the campus landscaping.   The district can anticipate future reductions in HVAC and energy usage once the trees become established and mature.  The school’s design works with the natural direction of site water flow to reduce need for underground drainage.

Value
We created value and reduced cost by maximizing space usage, selecting durable and cost effective materials and developing a site that will accommodate future school construction.
The school is designed with community access and use in mind.  This flexible multipurpose design maximizes the taxpayers’ investment by giving them not only a great educational environment for their children, but also a beautiful community space for events and programs. 
In addition, by selecting highly cleanable and durable materials such as aluminum-framed windows, CMU, VCT, and ceramic tile the district saves money on maintenance.  Lastly, by developing a site today for school construction the district saves time and money in the future.  The site selected for this school offers enough area for the future construction of a Middle School.  Once the Middle School is constructed, the adjoining campuses benefit from sharing a stadium and ball fields.  The district will experience additional savings by sharing the expanded parking areas too.

Size: 79,410 SF
Capacity: 750
Grades Served: 5-6
Claycomb Associates, Architects provides architectural and master planning services to school districts throughout Texas.
© Claycomb Associates, Architects, Inc. All Rights Reserved