2017—Willam Lee Hastings Elementary School

Duncanville ISD—Willam Lee Hastings Elementary School
Architect: Corgan

New Replacement 2-Story Elementary School including Education Space, Library & Learning Courtyard.


The building is designed to create a school community with grade level neighborhoods. Classrooms surround open flexible collaboration spaces with full height interactive work spaces. The neighborhoods surround an outdoor learning courtyard. Flexible learning labs provide areas for lab environments for science and engineering. The exterior brick and metal panels reflect the existing school culture and spirit. Limestone walls define entry points and guide visitors through the public main corridor.


The new elementary is designed to maximize value for the district. The exterior construction is insulated concrete form (ICF) partnered with high efficiency windows providing a highly efficient building envelope and direct energy savings to the district. Interior materials are environmentally friendly, durable and low maintenance. Solar panels and rain water collection systems help offset operation costs for the district while providing educational enrichment for the students and their families.


The district embraced the inclusion of sustainable technology for the building and learning environments. Building orientation maximizes the natural light in learning spaces, while the insulated concrete form (ICF) construction supports exterior building efficiency. Solar panels help to offset energy use and serve as a learning tool for students through an interactive kiosk, which also tracks rainwater collected into an on-site cistern providing irrigation to planting in the learning courtyard.


The new elementary school is a replacement facility for an aging building. Built on the same site, the new school is an investment in the existing neighborhood designed to engage and support the community. The front of the school provides shared community spaces and locates the main entry lobby, library, gymnasium, and cafeteria providing access for the community after school hours. Building materials and colors were used to embrace the existing school history, culture, pride, and spirit.


The project planning took a collaborative approach that included district administration and faculty members beginning with interactive planning and visioning meetings. Faculty input proved essential in the development of innovative learning spaces that provide flexibility in an open collaborative environment. The learning spaces are planned with adjacency to flexible break out areas for students and adjoining teacher planning spaces supporting collaboration, small and large group activities.

School Transformation

The new school building provides new energy to an existing school community. Its generous collaborative spaces allow teachers more flexibility to carry out their curricula. Shared spaces within the school are constantly in high demand by students and faculty. The learning courtyard provides another space for students to collaborate and engage their environment through large group spaces, stream table, water cistern, and planting bed areas.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner