TASA/TASB Outstanding Renovation
TASA/TASB Design Award
TASA/TASB Innovation Award
TASA/TASB Value Award
TASA/TASB Sustainability Award
TASA/TASB Educational Appropriateness Award
Best of K-12 Design in Renovation/Restoration by Texas Construction magazine
How can an outdated, World War I-era school, deteriorating from the inside out, be transformed into an innovative, state-of-the-art facility that still honors its historical significance? Waxahachie ISD answered that question by calling Huckabee.
Waxahachie High School, built in 1917, was falling apart in 2006. But no one wanted to see this landmark torn down. Huckabee stepped up with a plan to save the building—and make it better than before.
We started by researching the historical architecture of the building. We uncovered the last remaining original window, and peeked past layers of old paint to find the original color. The windows were matched using new, thermally broken, low-e, high-energy efficiency glass. The hard wood floors were restored to their original beauty. We refurbished the exposed ceilings, as well as replaced doors and lighting fixtures with historically accurate materials.
The design team was charged with transforming a simple, three-story building to serve students of all disciplines: engineering, physics, biology, video editing and production, computer, math, foreign languages, and more. The result was a cutting-edge design that challenged our concept of impossibility. The old schoolhouse was reborn as Waxahachie Global High.
Here in the 21st century, communication is instant, the economy is global, and technology is always advancing. Today’s education requires hands-on curriculum with a focus on modern technology. Global High School with its re-vamped facility is all about going global with science, technology, and business. It serves the traditionally under-served students, inspiring them to follow their dreams through a distinctive combination of technology and academics, highlighting the importance of community, communication, and citizenry.
For such a unique educational system, Huckabee had to design a unique environment, incorporating the latest technology to prepare students for the fast-paced modern world. The restored facility now includes interactive white boards, laptops, wireless technology, graphing calculators, and MP3 players for podcasts. Wall-to-wall marker boards and tackable surfaces framed in wood allow collaboration to happen anywhere, with multiple surfaces for presentation purposes. The administration area includes a student forum for studying and gathering and is open, instead of isolated, encouraging collaboration between students and administrators. Student alcoves with wall carpet allow for small group collaboration outside of the classroom.
The Waxahachie Global High School project was all about transitions -- it had to be. Huckabee started by working with the Global High planning team, including the school’s administration and counselors, a lawyer, an engineer, and the architect. We discussed curriculum, administrative procedures, and business interactions. We even collaborated with local 8th graders to find out what they wanted in a high school experience.
In Phase One, the third floor was renovated with classrooms, lecture hall, and student alcoves. Phase Two addressed the first and second floors, while administrators used the already completed third floor to plan the curriculum and campus opening.
The out-of-the-box aspect of this project challenged us to look at education in a new light. The result was a transformation from out-dated to cutting-edge, from a time of world war to a time of global connection.