Austin and Taylor Elementary Schools
Abilene ISD worked with Huckabee to define their Educational Visioning Statement—the basis for the design of two new schools, Austin Elementary School and Taylor Elementary School. Designed as a prototype, each new building will respect the existing site, match the contextual look and feel of the region and acknowledge existing buildings and future developments. The schools provide safe, secure and welcoming environments for all members of the community.
The prototype design’s guiding concept is flexibility. The central shared areas, including a media center, cafeteria and learning commons, are arranged along the spine. The library and dining area will be connected–or alternatively divided—by a raised stage. A tiered auditorium learning stair connects the first and second levels. Classroom neighborhoods are organized around open and collaborative areas, with an additional flex classroom for each neighborhood, small study nooks and standardized classroom sizes throughout to be appropriate to any age group.
Transparency and connection to the outdoors were also key. The design integrates passive supervision through an open concept with teacher planning areas centrally located throughout the space. Natural light and strategically placed views provide a connection to the outdoors. Exterior learning areas are located adjacent to each classroom neighborhood. Durable, low maintenance materials and devices for solar control support sustainability efforts in the district.