Community ISD Design for New High School

new high school is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2020

Community Independent School District’s new high school is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2020, with construction beginning in the Fall of 2018. The building is located due south of the existing high school, with main access from FM 1138. The building is composed of three wings, each oriented east/west to maximize daylight and minimize solar heat gain. The southernmost is the academic wing, the middle houses fine arts, and athletics occupy the northern wing. All are connected by a main street corridor with the school’s library and career and technical education classrooms. A new agriculture facility is located to the east of the bus drop-off.

Students and guests will enter the school on the west end of the classroom wing through a security vestibule adjacent to the administration offices. From here, users enter a large student commons. This two-story open space connects the academic wing to the main street of the building.

The high school has three learning communities, each consisting of standard classrooms, science labs, and centralized collaboration spaces.

As students head north on main street, the library borders on the west. Plenty of natural light, seating, and a coffee bar create a welcoming space for students to study or work together. An exterior entry into the media center allows the space to be utilized after school hours by students and community members alike.

As students enter the middle wing, the cafeteria is directly off main street. A wall of windows overlooks a courtyard and outdoor dining area.

The Fine Arts wing is anchored by an 800-seat auditorium and houses a band hall, choir room, a studio for dance and color guard, a blackbox theater, and accompanying support spaces. The auditorium lobby provides a formal public entrance for after-hours performances and events. This will also be the site of the Community ISD Hall of Honor. As an added feature, The 50' high wall at the back of the stage will serve as a giant projection screen for showing movies outdoors.

The athletics wing to the north will include a competition gym, practice gym, weight training, and locker rooms.

The overall design aesthetic of the building is focused on regionalism, pulling material and form inspiration from the local climate and surroundings. The building’s “wing” design allows for maximum natural light to reach the interior and to create usable outdoor courtyards in the areas between the wings.

The south facades of the school’s 3 wings respond to the climate with expansive sloped roofs with overhangs to protect the southern-facing windows from solar heat gain and to shelter students and guests below from the elements. The south academic wing serves as the main public entry into the school. The forms extending out into the walkway along the southern façade are the science labs.

To the north is the outdoor learning courtyard, bordered by the classroom wing on the south and the cafeteria on the north. This will be an active space where teachers can hold class and students can eat, study, or relax.

Extending east from the cafeteria is a canopy to shelter students walking between the bus drop-off and the building. North of the cafeteria is the service yard, providing easy access for maintenance and deliveries to the school.

The public entrance to the auditorium is adjacent to the fine arts courtyard and is also protected by a canopy above to welcome students and guests.

The athletics wing is furthest north and closest in proximity to the existing athletic field and facilities.

Student parking is located to the north of the school and will also serve the gymnasium. Parking for faculty, staff and visitors is located on the south near the school’s main entrance, and will also serve as event parking for the auditorium.

Each wing is anchored to the east and west by a wall of natural stone. The north and south facades feature a red-blend brick on the lower portion with metal panel above and retain a natural color palette to blend with the surroundings.

The new Community High School will adhere to proven construction practices and utilize materials, methods, and equipment of dependability. This school will be cost effective to build, operate and maintain. It will be sustainable and fully accessible.

Community ISD’s high school students will benefit from this exciting, innovative learning environment for years to come.

Jourdan Spragins