2017—Granbury High School

Granbury ISD—Granbury High School
Architect: Huckabee

A 49-year-old high school + a vision for choice-driven education led to a $47 million renovation that delivers long-term value. The aging facility was transformed into a modern educational campus with a new 9th grade center, new CTE center, open concept learning commons and teacher commons that support dynamic scheduling. The reconstruction delivered a collaborative environment that supports choice-driven education and promotes a collegiate and professional experience for students and teachers.


The design unified more than a disjointed facility. It brought together the campus within the larger context of a collegiate-style environment and supported the creation of small learning communities drawn together formally and informally. Each space is tailored for connectivity—on an academic and social spectrum. Students select the type of environment in which they want to engage. Glazing supports visual connection to learning and increased visibility for educators and administrators.


The district had a long list of needs; the budget offered challenges and opportunities. Furniture was key; it was an important tool that delivered long-term educational and economic value. It emphasized purpose within the space, delivered maximum flexibility and created a collegiate aesthetic. Square footage was gained by adopting dynamic scheduling; teacher commons and classrooms were designed for adaptability and efficiency in use. Resulting cost savings were re- distributed to key priorities.


  • Natural light in all classrooms and labs
  • Outdoor dining and learning spaces
  • High efficiency systems
  • Single-ply white roof
  • LED lighting
  • Terrazzo flooring


The school district is located in a growing community. The high school is located near the historic downtown square. The district adopted a new approach to instruction that would elevate them as an innovative place to learn and teach, also meeting the needs of 21st century learners. The design is a reflection of each of these influences—creating a sense of place within the community, within the school and within the educator culture.


The decision to adopt project-based learning and a choice-driven environment was desired by administrators AND teachers. They wanted a space that embraced a less prescribed approach and empowered all users to make personal decisions about the space and pace of learning. Administrators, teachers, students and parents participated in planning meetings, site visits and charrettes to co-create a solution that supported choice and delivered long-term flexibility as instruction continued to evolve.

School Transformation

Transformation—Star of DistinctionThree areas of high impact helped the district achieve its goal of evolving their culture to embrace a more collegiate and professional experience: the teacher commons, classroom environments and learning commons. In each space, furniture use, technology, transparency and choice are prevalent. The space and pace of learning is driven collectively by students and teachers. They are empowered to make decisions, and they have the tools to be successful within a project-based learning culture.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner