Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy
The design of the Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy responds to the needs of Rockwall ISD, local workforce and the school district’s college partner, Collin College. The design process included thoughtful and collaborative planning sessions to validate the space program, identify expanding needs in degree paths, and develop opportunities for dual-credit courses. Program emphasis was placed on STEAM and professional course offerings with design solutions that promote collaboration and serendipitous engagement.
From the commons to corridors to academic wings, multi-purpose spaces are filled with flexible furniture, technology access and writable surfaces for social, instructional and independent study uses. A large “black box” is surrounded by engineering, robotics, architecture and fashion design classrooms and is used for group instruction, as a maker space and for competitions. Transparency is used throughout to give visibility to learning.
Creating a collegiate feel was important as the facility is shared between Rockwall ISD and Collin College. The student commons functions as a dining / social / assembly area; a lecture hall supports the higher ed model of instruction; and an outdoor amphitheater is used as a community gathering space.