2016—Henderson Middle School

Henderson ISD—Henderson Middle School
Architect: Claycomb Associates, Architects

This project incorporates 30,000 sq feet of existing space with 115,000 sq feet of new construction to create a state-of-the-art middle school campus on an existing school site.  Special consideration was given to ensure that the academic and social development needs of this student population were addressed.  Common spaces were sized and located for shared community use, ensuring that this revitalized facility will continue to serve all stakeholders.


This campus reflects a paradigm shift from the previous 60-year-old school with 9 buildings and 44 entrances.  Mirroring revitalization of the city’s historic downtown, this project is the first step in revitalizing all District facilities with a project theme of “Middle School Matters.”  From safety features to social emotional learning spaces, integrated technology and an enhanced performance space, the District affirms that preteen students matter and the community cares about their success.


The campus consists of 115,000 sq feet of new space and 30,000 sq feet of renovation.  By matching the existing brick to the new, the finished design looks seamlessly complete.  The design creates efficient student circulation, maximizing class time.  Grades are clustered together to foster collaboration, and the majority of classes have natural light.  The enhanced cafeteria with mall-style serving area and spacious commons allow for ample break-out space and unobtrusive student supervision.


Interactive design charrettes highlighted the District’s desire to reach middle school students who had been stuck in an outdated facility.  Besides enhancing technology, security, extracurricular areas, and labs, staff members wanted the design to reflect positivity.  Students circulate in brightly-colored corridors with TVs that stream videos and positive news.  The oversized performance platform hosts student/staff ping-pong and playful activities to promote self-esteem and social learning.


Skylights in corridors and at main connections minimize roof penetrations and decrease electrical usage.  Other sustainable features include: double pane insulated low-E glazing, lighting occupancy sensors, water efficient fixtures, building automation systems, and LED lighting in high impact spaces.  Brick was selected from a manufacturer located in the District.  Natural light utilized throughout keeps students connected to the outdoors, and the enclosed courtyard promotes outdoor learning.


Incorporating 3 of the original buildings into the design reduced construction/development costs.  The campus allows for shared use with the existing stadium—athletic parking doubles as a staff lot during the school day.  Core spaces are sized for future enrollment growth and academic wings are designed for expansion.  Expensive science and lab spaces are located for shared use between grades.   Shrewd bidding allowed the District to include 6 extra classrooms while coming in $1.6M under budget.

School Transformation

This campus revolutionizes the student experience. Unlike the old facility, this contiguous campus is embedded with cameras, controlled access, fencing, and advanced notification systems so students are safe. Skylights, translucent panels, and storefront windows infuse natural light throughout for optimal learning.  The oversized kitchen allows the District to cook from scratch ensuring that students have healthy food choices.  Mobile furnishings and wireless access make learning ubiquitous.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner