Community ISD High School

On Monday night the Community ISD Board of Trustees reviewed the Schematic Design of the New Community High School as part of the first phase of the 2017 School Bond Program.

The building will consist of three east-west oriented wings. A two-story academic wing to the south, a fine arts and food service wing in the center and the athletic wing to the north, closest to the stadium. The three wings will be connected by a “main street” corridor through the center. The building orientation will play an important role in energy efficiency. Maximizing the windows on the north and south of the wings, where the sun can be controlled, and minimizing openings on the east and west facing walls, will significantly reduce utility costs. The space created between the wings will be developed as secure outdoor learning spaces for the students and faculty.

The Academic Wing will be the location of the main entry, the administration, and academic classrooms arranged in small learning communities.

The Fine Arts Wing will have an 800-seat auditorium, band, choir, drama, dance and art teaching areas. The east end of the wing will be the location of the cafeteria and food preparation areas.

The Athletic Wing will have competition and auxiliary gymnasiums, locker rooms and associated support spaces. 

Along with the outdoor learning courtyards, site amenities will include visitor, faculty and student parking along with a paved, dedicated marching area for the band.

WRA Architects has been authorized to further develop the design, integrate structural and mechanical systems, and finalize the building materials and finishes for the facility. The architects are on schedule to show a more developed animation to the Board in June, which will showcase the refined design, and be expanded to include images of all the key interior spaces.

The new Community High School is on schedule to break ground in late fall of 2018 and open in August of 2020.

Elsie Robertson Middle School

Elsie Robertson Middle School is scheduled for replacement with the new facility scheduled to open in the fall of 2020. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall of 2018. The new facility will be located south of the existing building and will incorporate the existing auditorium. This will allow the existing facility to remain open through the spring semester of 2020 before being demolished. The area occupied by the old building will be replaced with a community walking path and parking in front of the new middle school.

The new facility is designed with a three-story academic wing on the west side of the building and public spaces on the east and south. You enter the building through a secure vestibule directly into the student commons. The commons directly connects you to the campus administration, the library and outdoor learning, food service, fine arts adjacent to the auditorium, and athletics to the south, adjacent to the outdoor fields. The academic wing is three stories with the special instruction, art and technology labs located on the first floor and standard classrooms located on the floors above. The second floor will connect to the balcony of the auditorium through the commons. The configuration of the third floor is identical to the second, with science lab/lecture classrooms located in the center and standard classrooms around the perimeter. The upper two floors are arranged into six “houses” or “pods” with associated collaboration workrooms and breakout spaces.

The front of the building has a cast stone colonnade with stepped detailing that mimics the detailing of the 1984 auditorium building. The three-story academic building is primarily a red brick blend with horizontal banding of the brown brick which matches the brick from the auditorium. The entry porch is raised and projected to match the scale of the curved colonnade and direct vehicles and pedestrians to the front door of the new school. The east portion of the colonnade is a covered porch providing shelter outside the cafeteria for students waiting to be picked up.

The west and south side of the academic tower continues with the red brick blend on a one-story gray brick base. The first story houses larger spaces such as technology labs and special instruction and has appropriately taller windows. The second and third story shows clusters of smaller square windows for each classroom. The clusters provide a little playfulness, but are stacked floor to floor to reveal the buildings straightforward organization. The masonry on the southeast corners is raised up to increase natural light into the library and to reinforce the connection between the library and the outdoor learning area.

The outdoor learning area will have small hills, built-in seating, trees, and an adjacent covered area. It will have access from the library, art room, commons and the corridor connecting the academic and athletic areas of the building. The design of this space will accommodate individual, small group and classroom sized gatherings, as well as outdoor eating and pre-function area for events in the gym or auditorium.

The locker room, gymnasiums and fine arts support spaces flip the masonry pattern using the brown brick as the primary color with the red as the accent. This ties to the existing auditorium more directly and distinguishes the public and extracurricular areas from academic parts of the building. The cast stone used on the athletic canopy is consistent with that on the main entrance of the building.

The new Elsie Robertson Middle School will adhere to sound construction practices and utilize materials, methods, and equipment of proven dependability. This new middle school will be economical to build, operate, and maintain, and it will be sustainable and fully accessible to the handicapped. 

Sunnyvale High School

It has been over ten years now since the citizens of Sunnyvale authorized a bond to build the Town’s first high school. In those ten years, Sunnyvale High School has become a focal point of the community, and its students have excelled in academics, fine arts, and athletics. In 2017, Sunnyvale authorized another bond to expand the high school, to keep up with the growth in student population, and to support the district’s vision for education in the 21st century. The first phase in this project will be the construction of a new cafeteria in the area between the student parking lot and the existing cafeteria on the southeast side of the building. The existing exterior colonnade along the glass wall of the cafeteria will be enclosed and will serve as a student commons and additional dining area. The new cafeteria itself will also serve as a storm shelter for the campus. The existing cafeteria will be converted into a dedicated performance auditorium in phase 2. Phase 2 will also include the construction of a new 42,000 square foot classroom addition at the north end of the existing classroom wing. This will effectively double the high school’s academic classroom space. This unique new environment includes 14 classrooms and 8 labs for STEAM programs and Career and Technical education curricula. The lab spaces are grouped with clusters of classrooms around large open areas for collaboration and independent research and study. A new counseling center will be located in the heart of the classroom addition, adjacent to the existing classroom wing. Here, counseling services will be more accessible to students, allowing career and college planning to become an integral part of student life. With the completion of the new cafeteria, the existing cafetorium, which has served the dual purposes of dining hall and performance space for 10 years, will be converted into a dedicated auditorium for musical and theatrical performances. Special attention is being given to acoustics, audio-visual and theater lighting systems. This space will give students in the district’s music and drama programs a taste of real-world experience. WRA Architects joins Sunnyvale ISD in celebrating the next stage in the life of this landmark building.

Sunnyvale Intermediate

Sunnyvale ISD has embarked on an educational transformation that requires more of their school buildings than a series of conventional classrooms can provide. Their first all new school designed specifically to support the way that students and teachers interact in Sunnyvale is a new intermediate school, currently in the planning stages. Designed to hold up to 600 students in grades 3, 4, and 5, the school is subdivided into 3 small learning communities, or houses. Each house includes 9 classrooms on two floors along with breakout spaces and small group rooms, and will include equal numbers of students from each of the 3 grades. These students will stay together in the same house for their full 3 years in this building. The small learning communities all overlook a large central space that serves as a shared commons and media center for the entire school. Dedicated spaces for art, science, music, and special education also open onto the commons. Covered outdoor spaces on both the ground floor and second floor will provide additional settings for learning. The absence of corridors along with ample walls of glass allow virtually every corner of this space to be easily overseen and, as a result, to serve as effective areas for learning. Students from a wide range of learning styles will find their favorite spot among the many different spaces to be found here.The public side of the campus includes administration offices, a light-filled cafeteria, and a gymnasium that is also designed to serve as a storm shelter. Construction is slated to begin in early 2018, and the first students will arrive for the start of classes in the fall of 2019.

Lancaster 9th Grade Center

WRA Architects is proud to partner with Lancaster ISD to convert Lancaster Elementary School to a 9th grade center for 650 students. The charge of the Architect was to take a facility currently being used to educate elementary age students and update the entrance, interiors and infrastructure to something more appropriate for the 21st century high school freshman. As you approach the main entrance you will notice the barrel vault has been replaced with a more contemporary entry vestibule and canopy partially covering a plaza that extends out to the parking lot. A few parking spaces were sacrificed at the southern edge of the plaza to double the area of parent drop off. The enlarged plaza also gives the entrance a more collegiate look and feel. All the purple tile on the exterior will be covered or replaced by an epoxy coating using an earth tone color to match the new upscale look of the entrance. As you enter the building you will pass through a security vestibule and into an enlarged reception area. The new reception desk location will allow for office staff to easily monitor everyone approaching the building. Once past the front desk you will move into the newly remodeled student commons. Formerly the cafeteria and stage, the commons will be a new student-centric hub that will not only serve as the dining hall but also be a connector to all areas of the campus. The multi-level tiered floor will be filled in to create a single, continuous floor surface The library is Immediately adjacent to the commons, and three large glass doors will allow the library to completely open to the commons or partition itself off as the needs of the space fluctuate. A portion of the reading area of the library is given over to collaboration space adjacent to the commons. This will allow views directly from the commons to the exterior and a new enhanced outdoor learning area. All these spaces are intended to be extensions of the commons and give the high school age student a variety of places to study, collaborate, and hang-out in a safe and more controlled environment. Band and Choir rooms will remain in place with minor changes. The art room will be relocated to be adjacent to the music areas. A new black box theater and dance studio will be located at the north end of the building in existing shop spaces to make best use of the high structure, giving more volume to these rooms. The food service area will be expanded to provide three serving lines in lieu of one. Windows and glass doors at the entrances to the new serving lines will provide a more pleasing aesthetic and security after food service hours. Minor changes will be made to the PE and Athletics areas. A new classroom, an office for a campus athletic coordinator and a training room will be included. Dedicated spaces for ROTC will be located on the west end of the building with easy access to the outdoors for drills. The north wing will be renovated to house 4 science classrooms which will be enlarged to meet the current requirements of the Texas Education Agency. Instructional space for special needs, culinary arts and cosmetology will also be provided. The west wing of the facility will be used for academic classrooms. All the interiors of these spaces will be updated. These classrooms will be used to teach math, English, Spanish, Social Studies, Early College, and Career and Technical Education courses. Along with creating 21st century learning spaces, the renovation will include new finishes, complete accessibility upgrades, and new mechanical and lighting systems. This project will provide an updated and modern facility with a collegiate feel as students from Lancaster ISD transition from Middle School to High School.

Anna ISD Stadium

At the conclusion of the 2017 football season, major additions and renovations will begin on Anna ISD’s Coyote Stadium. The recently added field turf and new running track have improved the facilities for the district’s athletes. This next phase to begin this fall will be focused more on the spectator experience. Home side seating will be replaced and enlarged to seat 3,100 spectators, including a center section of stadium chairs for reserved seating. Visitor side grandstands will be expanded to seat 2,000 spectators, bringing the total seating capacity to 5,100. The highlight of the stadium renovation is the new 3,500 square foot press box, which will be elevated one story above the top of the home side grandstands. Stairs from the top of the grandstands and an elevator from the ground level will provide access to the new press box, which will include separate rooms for home and visiting coaches, timer/announcer, radio/press, a covered exterior video platform, and two spectator rooms for dignitaries. Along with the press box construction, new entrances will be constructed at the northwest and southeast corners of the stadium, new restroom facilities will be constructed at the concourse level under the home side grandstands, and additional parking spaces will be constructed on the adjacent park site to the west. The newly renovated stadium will be open for the 2018 football season.

Crandall High School Expansion

As a part of the 2017 Bond Program, Crandall ISD has teamed with WRA Architects to design two new additions to the existing High School. This expansion will include a 3,000-square foot cafeteria and 43,000-square foot classroom addition increasing the capacity by 450 students.

The addition will provide much needed classroom space to house the growing population. It will boast Next Generation Learning environments that promote collaboration between students as well as teachers. Large overhead doors will help create transparency between surrounding classrooms and the multipurpose space, thus helping to encourage the free exchange of ideas through group learning. Movable seating and furniture will be provided with plenty of outlets for charging the technology used by students at Crandall ISD.

17 new classrooms will be outfitted with movable desks encouraging collaborative learning.

4 new physics and biology science labs with shared prep rooms will have built in perimeter casework with mobile tables making the space flexible for different teaching strategies.

Curriculum will be taught in new culinary, interior design and medical areas. To simulate real world medical practice, classrooms will have flexible learning spaces with patient beds and phlebotomy stations.

The exterior masonry on the classroom addition will respect the original design by following the same details and patterns.

At the cafeteria addition, a more contemporary design was chosen with full height glass curtain wall and a deep overhanging roof structure, supported by elegant round columns. Similar masonry details will be used along with blue window mullions to tie the addition into the existing building.

An outdoor plaza area will be located to the west of the addition to provide a space for people to congregate before and after events held in the newly expanded cafeteria. This space should become an extension of the cafeteria due to the transparency between the interior and exterior environments.

Inside the space, 175 additional occupants will be able to dine through a mix of table seating and stand-up bar space. A fourth serving line will provide to address additional serving needs.

The additions will promote next generation learning and will increase their dining and performing arts capabilities. Crandall ISD’s newly expanded High School campus will be an attractive and functional addition to the school district and community. 



John Horn High School Addition



An exciting addition to Mesquite Independent School District’s Doctor John D Horn High School is currently in the planning stages. This new construction, beginning in the spring of 2018, will provide many features to support next generation learning. The heart of the addition is a spacious commons that will serve as a center for 11th and 12th grade students. A media center within the commons is an extension of the school’s library providing a comfortable area supporting digital technology. 3 adjacent computer labs are separated with operable walls which, when open, create one large multipurpose space. In the remainder of the commons, seating for study, collaboration and dining lines the expansive exterior window wall. Here, in the grab and go café, Students and teachers alike can grab a quick lunch or prepare for class. Further to the interior is the Forum, another flexible multipurpose space, that connects the first and second floors of the addition. The corridors feature tech bars for study and charging stations for student devices. Glass enclosed collaboration rooms fill the space beneath the Forum. Three new upper level labs will expand the science instruction facilities on the campus with state of the art equipment and technology. In addition, the new construction will bring 47 new standard classrooms to the school, allowing for removal of all the temporary classroom buildings from the campus when complete. This dynamic new addition will provide a variety of settings for students to study, research, and interact with one another and their teachers in an environment that is designed to help prepare them for higher education and professional life. WRA Architects is proud to once again team with Mesquite Independent School District on this important investment in the lives of its students and teachers.

Bob & Lola Sanford Elementary

The design of the Van Alstyne ISD Elementary School #2 was a successful collaboration between WRA & the school district. The investment in the planning process that the school district undertook certainly resulted in a better facility for the student, teachers, and administrators of Van Alstyne ISD
— Keith Anderson AIA Partner

After months of planning leading up to a successful bond election in May of 2017, Van Alstyne Independent School District has completed the design for the new elementary school approved by the voters in that election.  Located just to the southwest of Van Alstyne middle school, the new campus will be served by a new public street connecting to highway 5 on the east and Greywood Drive on the west. The new design is the product of a collaborative process that included parents, teachers, administrators, district support staff, and the design team.  Some of the major goals established at the beginning of the project were that the building would support and enhance next generation learning, with easy access to technology throughout the building, and that the learning environments would be flexible and filled with natural light.  

A two story option was selected early on, to help maintain a compact and efficient floor plan for this building of over 80,000 square feet. The youngest students, in pre-K through 1st grade, are on the ground level while classrooms for grades 2 through 5 are on the second floor.The two story classroom wing can be secured to allow for community activities to take place after hours in the more public areas of the building, including the cafeteria, library, and gymnasium.The gymnasium includes a full-size basketball court and also serves as the school’s storm shelter. The building’s L-shaped floor plan surrounds a landscaped courtyard which provides a secure area for outdoor learning activities and student play.

Van Alstyne ISD’s second elementary school is scheduled to begin construction this summer, and will be ready to welcome its students and teachers at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.

It has been a great experience partnering with Van Alstyne ISD to design their new elementary school. Our interaction with the district throughout the design process has helped to create a school that will best serve the unique needs of Van Alstyne ISD and the users of the space. The new elementary school will be an exciting place for the students to be and will help enhance their learning experience.
— Mitch Fuqua AIA Project Manager

Brock Primary


After months of planning leading up to a successful bond election in November of 2016, Brock Independent School District has directed its latest planning efforts on the new primary school itself - approved by the voters in that election.  Located at the corner of FM 1189 and Eagle Spirit Lane, the new school design is the product of a collaborative process that included parents, teachers, administrators, district support staff, and the design team.  The result is an exciting new school design that will support next generation learning for the youngest students in the district.

The school’s main entrance faces FM 1189.   Separate drives for cars and for busses both enter the site from Eagle Spirit Lane.

Children approaching the main entry from the parent drop-off and the bus loop are protected from the elements by a continuous canopy along the front of the gymnasium.

Inside, the glass-enclosed reception area overlooks the main entrance as well as the entrances to the gymnasium and cafeteria.  

In the cafeteria, playful windows outlined with bright colors open to the school’s library and main corridor, while a full wall of glass provides expansive views to the courtyard, playground, and stand of trees beyond.

The library occupies the heart of the school, open and elevated on a platform, connecting the 3 grade level learning communities.

From the library, Children will enjoy views to the outdoors, and will have easy access to the small learning communities, as well as the gymnasium and cafeteria.  The diverse settings in this space will provide opportunities for a variety of individual and group learning activities.

Instead of opening off of conventional corridors, the classrooms in each of the learning communities are grouped around a flexible, open collaboration space, again, to support multiple activities and learning styles.

The playground rests in the shade of an existing grove of trees to the south of the school, shielded from the traffic on FM 1189, and safely separated from the nearby driveways by ornamental fencing.

On the opposite side of the school, a paved courtyard adjoins the library and two classroom pods, providing a setting for outdoor learning.

With the planning process quickly coming to a conclusion, the Construction of the new Brock Primary school is slated to begin this summer.  Students in pre-k, kindergarten, first and second grade, will be welcomed by their teachers to their exciting new school home in the fall of 2018.

Plano East Senior High

The dynamic and ever expanding campus of Plano East Senior High School is soon to welcome another major addition, this time in a very visible location on the school’s expansive lawn along Los Rios Boulevard. This new classroom building, one of the early projects of Plano Independent School District’s 2016 Bond Program, will allow for the removal of four temporary classroom buildings, each with four classrooms, that currently occupy space in the large parking lot on the east side of the campus.

Motorists approaching the school from the south will view the new structure wrapping around the lake in the heart of the campus. The stepped configuration of the north and west walls maintains a large portion of the school’s signature front lawn and opens views to Plano East’s main entrance. This two-story addition, matching the height of the adjacent structures, includes 19 new full-size classrooms, four smaller classrooms for specialized instruction, a large multipurpose meeting room for up to 120 occupants, and collaboration spaces to support next generation learning. 

A paved walkway with seating along the lakefront borders the new building, and provides settings for student gatherings and outdoor educational activities. Inside, the neutral color palette of the existing buildings has been brought into the addition, accented with Plano East Gold and complimentary colors. Walls of glass overlooking the lake and the broad expanse of lawn connect the indoors to the outdoors, and provide views and natural light for the student collaboration areas. These spaces, filled with soft seating and access to wireless technology, bring learning opportunities out into the circulation space, giving new and expanded purpose to the school corridor. Here, students will be able to interact in small groups, read and study individually, or work one-on-one with instructors, effectively adding space and flexibility to the adjacent classrooms.

The classrooms themselves, will also benefit from large areas of glass to bring in great natural light through north-facing windows. 
Occupants of the multipurpose meeting room will enjoy views to the lake through the expanse of windows lining the south wall. 
WRA Architects is proud to continue its long partnership with Plano Independent school district in its ongoing commitment to providing excellent educational environments for the District’s students and teachers, here at Plano East Senior High School and throughout the community.

Hollis T. Dietz Elementary


Residents of the Heartland Community in Crandall ISD are beginning to see real evidence of the ongoing construction activity on the site of the new elementary school in their neighborhood.  Lots of work has taken place over the past several months with the excavation of the site, and the layout of the parking lots, drives, and the building footprint.  In recent weeks, however, the erection of the steel super structure has begun to give form to the building itself.  

The outline of the entire building is noe delineated by the perimeter concrete grade beam.  The grid of pier caps within that outline identifies where the steel columns will be places.  The building's floor will be constructed over a crawlspace to protect it from the movement of the expanisve clay soils in the region.  

The tall volume of the gymnasium is on the right, and the columns just now being erected on the left will support the roof over the main entrance, administration, office and library, which are in the center of the building.  The nearly completed steel framework of the cafeteria, kitchen, and music room can be seen adjacent to the gymnasium. 

The two classroom wings, which now only appear in outline, will be the last areas to framed with steel.  When the steel erection is complete, passersby will have a real sense of scale of this 72,000 sq foot building.  As the steel erectors are making great progress setting steel, the concrete workers to layout and construct the large areas of the parking lot and driveways that will provide convenient access to the school for parents, teachers, and visitors, and provide ample space for cars and buses during the busy morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times.  

WRA Architects and Gallagher Consturction are proud to be partners with Crandall Independent School District in this exciting new project that, along with Barbara Walker Elementary School, will serve the many students of the Heartland Community

Design Presentation 

The City of Crandall is growing. 

And in response to this growth, WRA Architects and Crandall ISD are working together in partnership with Huffines Communities, on the planning of a second elementary school in the Heartland neighborhood on the north side of the district.

The School’s main entrance faces the intersection of Sunnybrook Drive and Cassinia Drive, presenting the front of the building to the community. The back of the building opens to secure playgrounds and playfields for the students to enjoy physical education and outdoor play in the most protected portion of the school grounds. The site nicely accommodates three different areas for student drop-off and also segregates all bus traffic from parent and teacher traffic. The two side parking lots are intended for teachers and after-hours events in the gymnasium and cafeteria, as well as weekend use of the outdoor areas. The visitor parking is located adjacent to the front entrance and is separated from the drive that is designated for parents dropping off and picking up their children.

The main entrance to the building is centered prominently in the front façade. The slate blue roof and the two-tone lueders limestone on the columns and window-surrounds give a warm and inviting appearance to the neighborhood school while aligning with the Heartland architectural color pallet. 

The classroom wings are clad with two shades of gray brick banding along the center bay and a tan brick blend on the side classrooms. A base of gray burnished masonry is consistent around the entire building. The lueders limestone accents and metal canopies at all windows and entrances elevate the character of the campus. Natural light is brought into perimeter classrooms through windows and into the interior classrooms through roof-mounted light monitors, so that all students enjoy the benefits of daylight in their learning environments. The aluminum window frames are a light tan color with energy-efficient, thermal insulating windows.

The gymnasium and cafeteria are connected to the bus drop-off with a metal canopy, protecting children from the elements as they arrive and depart each day. This canopy will also provide a shaded oasis for teachers and administrators as they monitor children on the playground. The cafeteria expands to fill space under the porch, providing more conditioned dining area for the students.

Crandall ISD’s newest elementary school will be a beautiful and thoughtful addition to the school district and the community. The health, safety and welfare of the students will be paramount, it will be built using sound construction practices and utilize materials, methods and equipment of proven quality and dependability. This new school will be sustainable and fully accessible; and will be economical to build, operate and maintain.

Hillcrest High School


Hillcrest High School is a historic and highly respected institution in the Dallas Independent School District. Opened in the mid 1930’s as Vickery Meadows High School, this Dallas icon has been in continuous operation for eighty years. In 1951, the modest wood frame building was expanded with a large concrete frame addition and the name changed to Hillcrest High School as it became an anchor in the developing Preston Hollow neighborhood of north Dallas. Hillcrest alumni have become leaders in all walks of life, many of them still calling Dallas their home. Since then, few changes have been made to the campus.


The Dallas Independent School District’s 2015 bond program will include removal of the 1930’s wood frame structure from the center of the campus. Three major additions will be constructed to provide much needed upgrades to student security, expansion of the core food service and athletic facilities, classrooms and technology to insure Hillcrest students will have the resources to lead through the 21st century.


The addition facing Aberdeen Avenue on the south side of the site will be the new location for the school’s main entrance, adjacent to existing visitor parking. The new reception area is located to receive visitors and have clear vision of the outside and any person who approaches the school.  The entry vestibule will be secured during school hours requiring all who enter to check-in at the main office and be badged before entry. The Hillcrest High School alumni association assisted the architect in designing a graphic timeline which will be located in the main entry corridor.


The Hillcrest Road addition on the west side of the site will primarily house new classrooms and classroom support spaces. The two-story addition will centralize the majority of the academic areas in the building and allow for removal of all the portable classrooms from the site. Five light wells in the new classroom addition will bring natural light into all new and existing interior classrooms. The base of the double volume light wells is designed to be student collaboration space, giving the campus a collegiate feel.


The new locker facility and competition gymnasium addition will be located facing Lakehurst Avenue on the north side of the campus. Taking advantage of the slope of the site, the locker room is designed to be beneath the gymnasium and lobby above. This minimizes the footprint of the building and provides direct access from the locker room to the track and field. Once the portable classrooms have been removed, the area will be used for additional parking and the construction of a legitimate loading dock for the kitchen and the school.


The center of the campus, which will be open space following the removal of the old competition gym, will be converted into a large, enclosed courtyard. Designed as a student and faculty amenity, the new courtyard will expand the concepts of the original smaller courtyard created and maintained with funds donated by the Park Cities Rotary Club. This outdoor space will be used for circulation, small group learning and informal gathering.


Thanks to the Dallas ISD 2015 Bond Program, Hillcrest High School will begin a new chapter, well-equipped to serve its students through the 21st century.

Range Elementary


Range Elementary for Mesquite ISD

Lanny Frasier Middle School

·         New middle school for 1200 students, grades 6 through 8

·         2015 International Building Code requires community storm shelter

·         45 standard classrooms (15 per grade)

·         Approximately 193,000 SF

Site Specifics   

·         The primary entrance of the school faces Stadium Drive (and Peachtree Road) to the east with a secondary entrance just to the north near the fine arts, athletics and cafeteria portion of the school.

·         The site includes an 8-lane all-weather track and football field as part of the base bid. An alternate bid will be provided for grandstands that seat 1800, a concession/restroom building and field turf and stadium lighting.

·         Also included in the site plan are tennis courts, field events, an 80-yard practice field, room for future expansion on the end of the classroom wing and a learning courtyard.

·         Since the site is adjacent to the visitor parking of Mesquite Memorial Stadium, an additional secondary entrance has been provided on the northwest side of the school to take advantage of the adjacent parking during regular school hours and after-hours events. 

·         The existing connection between Scyene Road and Memorial Blvd. will be replaced with a new private driveway connection that runs between the practice field and tennis court area.

·         Due to off-site drainage requirements, a detention pond has been shown on the property to the east which will become Mesquite ISD property after a land swap with the City of Mesquite. The current water tower site just to the south will be turned over to the City. 

·         The classroom wing to the south addresses Memorial Blvd. as it is oriented east/west for optimum solar orientation.  The northern portion of the plan is rotated slightly to open up the main entrance and pull the large volume spaces back from the drop off lane.

Floor Plan Level 1

·         The primary main entrance of the school lies between the administration suite and the media center. A security vestibule contains a small conference room and RR for parent/public use to prevent public request to enter into the private portion of the building. 

·         The special instruction area lies just to the west of the administration area and contains 3 computer labs, Principles of Human Services, an MTI classroom, 2 special education classrooms and shared storage, RR and kitchen, as well as associated offices.

·         2 art classrooms have been located to the north of special instruction for direct access to the learning courtyard and have been provided with windows for north light.

·         The instructional space to the west contains 15 standard classrooms for 6th grade, 3 science labs, and a teacher collaboration workroom. To accommodate steep grades on the site, this portion of the classroom wing has been raised 32” and will be provided with 2 sets of short stairs and a ramp to provide access.

·         The media center will be provided with punched opening windows to the east and a storefront window wall system to the corridor wall to bring in as much borrowed natural daylight as possible as well as providing transparency between the library, the main corridor and the learning courtyard. 

·         The fine arts area contains a band, orchestra and choir hall as well as a drama classroom with access to the cafeteria stage.

·         The cafeteria has been designed to seat over 450 students to accommodate 3 lunch periods and account for future growth. The kitchen area will have 4 serving lines with overhead doors to reduce congestion.

·         The physical education/athletics area is provided with a competition gymnasium that will seat the entire student body of 1200, a practice gym that will seat 150 spectators, and two secondary entrances with covered porches to the southeast and southwest of the gymnasiums.

·         The boys and girls athletic and physical education locker rooms are located to the north of the gymnasiums and will house the community storm shelter required on this project by building code. This area allows for optimum design and economic feasibility to provide a shelter large enough to house all students and staff for the school and will be structural designed to withstand 250 mph winds equal to an EF-5 tornado and provide protection for up to 2 hours after an emergency situation. This includes battery backup for lights, a generator to run mechanical ventilation for fresh air, fresh water, first aid kits and fire protection.



Floor Plan Level 2


·         The second floor will include 30 standard classrooms, 6 science labs, and a teacher collaboration workroom and will include 7th and 8th grade. Also included on this level is the Technology Lab and 2 MTI classrooms.

·         Access to the second floor will be provided between 3 stairwells located at the ends and center of the classroom wing as well as an elevator near the technology lab at the second floor and administration area on the first floor.

·         All of the standard classrooms as well as the program located along the exterior wall will be provided with windows for natural daylight and sunshading devices for protection during the harsh warm months.

Vanston Middle School

The results of Mesquite Independent School District’s 2015 capital improvement program can be seen all over the district, including an addition to Vanston Middle School.
The foundation is complete and the structural steel frame for the two story building is finished, as well.  The interior stud framing for the first and second floor is well underway, and the roof decking placement has reached completion. Roofing and exterior masonry will begin very soon in an effort to bring this building to completion by the end of the 2016/2017 school year.
The metal stud framing and sheathing of the exterior wall can be seen along the addition that, when complete, will house (10) classrooms, (2) science labs, a drama room and a band hall.  All this will allow the single classroom buildings clustered on the south and north side of the existing building to be removed from the site.
Other new features to this addition that have already been completed include a new (6) lane track and football field, (2) new tennis courts, and adjacent parking. A revised service area and staff parking will follow the schedule of the building addition.
WRA Architects shares the excitement of the Vanston Middle School community and Mesquite ISD as this important new addition takes shape.

Washington Heights

FALL 2016

Washington Heights Elementary School is a replacement school located in Northside Fort Worth, on the south side of West Long Avenue, between Clinton Avenue and North Houston Street.  The location of the existing underground school and parking lot required that the new school building be located in the current playfield area, at the north end of the site. Meacham International Airport is northwest of the school, across the street from Long Avenue.

Washington Heights ES serves grades Pre-K through 5th, including 21 standard classrooms, in addition to an assortment of special use rooms, allowing for a maximum capacity of 500 students. The building is organized around an 'equator' line (main corridor), dividing the school between public spaces on the south, and private spaces on the north.  Public spaces include the administration, gymnatorium, cafeteria and library.  The gymnatorium and cafeteria have direct access to the playgrounds and fenced-in playfields.  Multiple south-facing canopies provide outdoor shade cover for teachers near the playgrounds.  The private spaces, or grade-level classrooms, are located along the north side of the building to take advantage of the north light.

The proximity of the airport to the school made classroom acoustics a top priority for Fort Worth ISD and WRA Architects. The classrooms respond to this concern by rotating clockwise, turning windows away from the airport.  The west walls of the building limit windows to a bare minimum, and are solid masonry to keep much of the noise outside.

Positioned on a compact 3.8 acre site, the footprint was minimized through the design of a two story scheme, an underground storm detention system and head-in on-street parking.  This allowed more play fields and playgrounds on the south end of the site as well as conserving the existing parent-funded playground. 

The two-story school design, solar orientation, natural day-lighting in all classrooms and high-efficiency HVAC system with energy monitoring allow for a significant decrease in energy consumption.

Ralph Bunche Elementary


Bunche ES serves grades Pre-K through 6th, including 38 standard classrooms, in addition to an assortment of special use rooms, allowing for a maximum capacity of 800 students. Every grade level has a large collaboration space adjacent to the standard classrooms as well as a teacher collaboration room.  Glass walls from the classrooms into the community spaces allow teachers and staff the ability to easily monitor activities in both spaces.  The library books will be dispersed throughout the community collaboration areas with shelves on casters.  In addition, the majority of the stack space in the library is on casters in order to maximize flexibility. 

WRA’s many years of specilization in the design of PK-12 grade school facilities brought a level of understanding and creativity that the district was looking for in the design of its first new elementary school in over 20 years”
— James Riggen, COO Midland ISD

One key design element includes the word wall tribute to Ralph Bunche along Main Street.  This space is complete with a translucent roof assembly that brings natural light down into 1st floor classrooms. 

Positioned on a 9.5 acre site, the footprint was minimized through the design of a two story scheme.  This allowed more play fields on the south end of the site as well as a large playground area to the west of the gymnasium.

 The two-story school design, solar orientation and HVAC 4 pipe system with energy monitoring allow for a significant decrease in energy consumption. Additional sustainable features to the school, include, natural day-lighting in the majority of learning spaces and sophisticated LED lighting controls for the daylight zones.