West ISD’s new West High School / Middle School was awarded ENR Texas & Louisiana’s 2017 Best Project for K-12. The project was recognized for excellence in design, safety, innovation and teamwork. Designed by Huckabee and constructed by Bartlett Cocke General Contractors, the high school / middle school opened in 2016 and serves grade 6-12. Notable features include a 588-seat performance hall that transitions into a collegiate-style lecture hall; a 1,000-seat competition arena; movable walls, writable surfaces and flexible furniture in the classrooms; a 2-story STEM Lab and Learning Resource Center with pre-making, making and post-making spaces; and a large student union and pre-event space that serves as a civic center for the community. The campus also features an ICC 500 tornado shelter.
Prosper ISD’s new district stadium and natatorium complex delivers a state-of-the-art facility for the growing community. The complex will be located to the west of Prosper High School and will be utilized for athletic, extracurricular and community programs.
The stadium accommodates 12,000 spectators. The home side features a split-level arrangement with 6,000 seats and a 2-story press box. Amenities include a multi-purpose space, press and scouting rooms, film deck, radio / TV box and kitchen. A half-time facility and community room overlook the field on the north end of the complex. Up to 400 people can be seated in the space. The turf field is sized for competition football and soccer. Paved areas provide staging for half-time entertainment.
The natatorium is 34,000 sf with a 16-lane competition pool, a 4-lane warmup pool and two one meter diving boards. Spectator seating accommodates up to 500 people.
Granbury High School’s comprehensive modernization created a learning environment that fosters a collegiate / professional culture for students and teachers. Furniture selection played a prominent role in the design, as Granbury ISD and Huckabee looked beyond typical to create a flexible, engaging and technology-driven space.
While the renovation touched the entire facility, the greatest transformation occurred in three key areas:
The student union encompasses the dining hall, bistro, coffee bar, student commons and media center. It’s a fluid space that is connected visually and physically to encourage connectivity in multiple ways.
Soft seating is used to create inviting areas for informal learning, socialization and idea sharing. Tables of varying height are ideal for study and small-group learning. Breakout rooms in the media center feature collaborative technology that can be used for pre-making research and group exploration activities. A learning stair is used for social engagement as well as a group presentation space. All furniture can be re-arranged to suit student needs.
Teacher Planning Rooms
Granbury ISD adopted dynamic scheduling to maximize square footage, create supportive learning communities and promote teaming between teachers. Teacher planning rooms were designed to support this shift. They are centrally located throughout the facility, with glass on all sides for increased access and visibility to all students. Within each space, teachers have desks, collaborative workspace and private meeting rooms.
Career and Technology Wing
A career and technology addition allowed the school district to provide comprehensive program offerings in a central location. Students have access to new programs, new technologies and new opportunities to learn in a highly professional space. Each classroom or lab was designed around program needs, including a new culinary arts studio, a new aviation workshop, a courtroom, a collegiate-style lecture hall and health science classrooms, among other programs.
In other learning spaces, furniture selections improved mobility and flexibility. Classrooms are easily re-arranged to transition between stand-and-deliver and project-based learning. For many, furniture is no longer an inhibitor to learning and allows for more creativity and deeper engagement between peers and between students and teachers.
A Bright Future: West ISD Rises Up has been picked up in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. The documentary follows the story of West ISD, from the 2013 explosion that devastated the school district’s facilities and much of the town, to the day the new high school / middle school opened in 2016. It is narrated by five students who share their experiences, memories and hopes for the future.
New airdates include:
- Houston: KHOU 11 at 4 PM on Jan. 15 (part I) and 3 PM on Jan. 22 (part II)
- Austin: KVUE at 2 PM on Feb. 19 (part I and II)
- San Antonio: KCWX Channel 2 at noon on Feb. 12 (part I and II) and 4 PM on March 11 (part I and II)
For more information visit www.restorewestisd.com or www.facebook.com/restorewestisd. To see behind-the-scenes and additional footage from the documentary, click here.
Adaptability is a key theme in the design of Godley ISD’s new high school. Inspired by a college campus, the central feature of the facility is a grand Center for Learning & Innovation (CLI) that blends learning, social and civic use into an open-concept, adaptable space. The CLI features a café, library, collaboration rooms with movable walls, a film room, learning stair and access to the outdoors. It creates a mash-up of spaces that can be utilized in infinitely possible ways to customize the learning experience.
The new high school is designed to provide a variety of spaces for students to learn, with the goal of utilizing each space to its fullest potential and maximizing the educational benefit for our students. When students walk in on day one, they’ll experience a space unlike anything they’ve seen. It will set the stage for the type of collaborative learning you see on college campuses and in the workforce.Dr. Rich DearSuperintendent, Godley ISD
The school will be designed in phases, with Phase 1 focused on core components and academics. The CLI is the epicenter of the school, which also includes a 3-story academic wing and athletic support spaces. Next to the CLI, an outdoor courtyard features benches and a projection screen, reinforcing concepts of community and social learning. On the north side, a second story deck overlooks the football stadium—a design choice inspired by collegiate stadiums. It too is adaptable, and GISD can purpose it for learning, social, athletic and public use.
The new school adjoins the current facility, which will be repurposed into a middle school. The close proximity of the high school and middle school campuses will increase schedule flexibility and academic opportunities. The schools will create a shared campus connected with pedestrian walkways. Phase 2 of the high school includes the addition of fine arts, CTE, a competition gymnasium, a performing arts center and expansion of athletics.
Godley High School will support 700 students in grades 9-12. Planning an innovative design within the budget of $28 million required thoughtful use of space, as well as careful consideration of how to phase the project to take advantage of available facilities and amenities. It also required a team approach, tested when the district and Huckabee were faced with an unanticipated budget challenge: following a successful bond program, preliminary projections for tax revenue were lower than anticipated—a result of a decline in natural gas mineral property taxes (a large percent of the tax base is rooted in the natural gas mineral industry).
The team immediately worked with the construction manager to create a priority list and alternates that would frame the budget, successfully bringing an incredible facility within the new cost parameters. They focused on creating spaces that had multi-purpose uses, such as a CLI, outdoor learning courtyard and presentation rooms purposed for academic, athletic and community needs. The connection between the stadium and learning space also supported multi-functional use. This focus on adaptability minimized inefficiencies in the program and maximized budget.
When the anticipated budget for the new campus declined, it took a team effort to bring costs back into alignment with the district’s educational goals. That’s Huckabee’s strength, working with clients and partners to collaboratively develop solutions that meet educational needs, budget goals and ultimately benefit students, the community and taxpayers.Josh BrownHuckabee
At 120,000 sf, the new Godley High School is an innovative and engaging space that will support district growth—in enrollment and educational delivery—for decades to come. It’s a project that will change the community and support its development into a destination district while also providing interactive, real-world experiences for students. The campus is set to open in 2018.
“What I’ve learned is we could teach inside a cardboard box…learning can take place anywhere. And what I’ve learned about our kids is they’ll respond if we’re truly doing our best to engage them,” said David Truitt, West ISD Superintendent in the new documentary, A Bright Future: West Rises Up.
The documentary follows the story of five students, following the 2013 explosion that devastated West ISD’s school buildings and much of the town. Through their eyes, it tells the story of the community’s resilience in the aftermath of the disaster, leading up to the opening of the new schools this past August.
We’ve got a lot of people in our district and our town who didn’t let tragedy keep them from succeeding. We’re excited for this film to tell their story in such a memorable way.David TruittSuperintendent, West ISD
You’ll see captivating images showing the damage to the old schools and the beauty of the new educational spaces, but this isn’t actually a story about buildings. It’s a story about resourceful, resilient people.Rush OlsonDirector, A Bright Future: West Rises Up
The film will make its broadcast debut on KWKT FOX 44 (Waco-Bryan-College Station) on Thursday, October 20 at 9:30 PM, with hour two running the following evening at the same time. The station will run both hours back-to-back on October 21 from 4-6 PM; sister station KYLE Y28 will air the film on October 22 from 7-9 PM. The documentary will be shown in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on November 26 at 11 AM and November 27 at 7 AM. Additional airings will be announced.
Rush Olson, of FourNine Productions and Rush Olson Creative & Sports, and director of photography/editor Dave French of Ludisian Legion Entertainment have gathered interviews and footage for more than three years. Their finished film includes stories of getting children back to school 100 hours after the explosion, years spent on a campus consisting entirely of portable buildings and some remarkable athletic and academic achievements. Being, at its heart, a story about learners, the filmmakers felt the choice of narrators should reflect its essence.
Lake Creek High School broke ground on Thursday, kicking off construction of Montgomery ISD’s second high school campus. The facility will open in 2018, blending secondary education with a collegiate and professional feel that supports engaging interactions and real-world experiences.
The campus is designed along a “main street corridor” that connects the media center / library and academic wing to public core components including fine arts, athletics and CTE programs. Academic wings are grouped in a flexible arrangement that support multi-disciplinary programming. A modern materials palette combines limestone, brick, metal panels, large expanses of glass and engineered wood veneer.
Click here to read more about the groundbreaking ceremony and the project.
West ISD’s new High School / Middle School opens Wednesday. . . a special moment for a community that has been waiting for a new building to call home after losing theirs in 2013.
The school was designed with a civic-inspired architecture, a representation of how central it is to the community. It features two distinct academic wings (for middle school and high school); an open-concept commons, dining hall and competition gymnasium; two Learning Resource Centers complete with learning stairs and second story break-out rooms; and collaborative learning space that connects classrooms with an open and flexible layout.
West High School / Middle School serves up to 1,000 students in grades 6-12. It is one of 10 new Huckabee-designed schools that open in August 2016.
The new Westpark Elementary School opens on Monday, marking a celebratory day for students and families within the Benbrook and Fort Worth ISD communities. The campus replaces an aging facility and provides students with a modern space that is light and bright with large classrooms, an outdoor learning courtyard and an engaging library / media center.
The media center features flexible furniture and a large window seat (stretching the length of the wall) for small-group and large-group instruction. An outdoor learning courtyard expands the classroom and contains playground equipment as well as space for countless learning, gathering and play opportunities.
The 80,000 sf school was designed to support traditional and project-based instruction; it serves students in pre-K through 5th grade. Westpark Elementary School is one of 10 new Huckabee-designed schools that open in August 2016.
Huckabee joined Lancaster ISD to break ground on two new elementary schools this week. The campuses, West Main and Pleasant Run, will replace existing buildings to help LISD move forward with 21st-century educational environments and improved safety and security. Each building will feature multiple outdoor learning courtyards; “Interactive Learning Labs” with makerspaces and writable surfaces; expansive libraries with flexible furniture; windowed corridors to support “learning on display”; natural daylighting; and multi-purpose gymnasiums which also serve as ICC-500 tornado shelters for increased safety. The schools will open in 2017.