2015 — Valley Oaks Elementary

Spring Branch ISD—Valley Oaks Elementary

Demo of old building and addition of new building


The surrounding area was going through revitalization and replacing an aging facility was part of it. The community was very involved in the planning process from start to finish. The campus is a reflection of the surrounding community area and stakeholder values. The school’s front entrance was reoriented to provide a safer drop-off for the students as well as create a better traffic flow and remove the need for street parking.

Stars of Distinction Design

The new two-story building is composed of stone, red and cream colored brick, and metal panels. The new school’s grand main corridor allows for an easy connection between the activity areas like the library in the center, cafeteria along the eastern side of the school and with the classroom wing to the south side, this helps with noises disrupting the quieter areas. Pod areas adjacent to the classrooms allow for “out of the box” and non –classroom learning opportunities for all grade levels.


The existing gym also had to be incorporated and blend seamlessly into the new building design. Many community meetings were held that discussed the goals that needed to be prioritized for this new elementary school. One of these goals was to keep the connection with the outdoors while providing a safer learning environment for the children. The kids no longer transition from class to class by walking outside however new courtyard spaces were provided to give the outdoor learning experience.


The new elementary school is a CHPS Designed building. The school’s existing gym was kept and revitalized to match the new design. The school has natural lighting throughout with large windows in all the classrooms as well as an all glass library and cafeteria. These windows provide a connection for students and faculty with the outdoors. The courtyards throughout allow for an outdoor learning experience that ties in with the school’s curriculum.


The school used low maintenance and recyclable materials throughout the campus. These materials have natural, sleek finishes and are also very durable. Wood, stone, and terrazzo give the building a warm and inviting feeling. The project was completed under budget and utilized the CMAR delivery method.

School Transformation


Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner