2017—McCormick Middle School

Hays CISD—McCormick Middle School
Architect: Stantec

“The design team worked closely with the district and community to create a new middle school that fused 21st century ideas and an efficient building design, maximizing learning space and increasing value for the district. Flexibility and transparency are central to the design, providing instructional adaptability and learning at different scales. Open flex spaces in corridors accommodate a variety of functions, and every classroom has a direct view for added supervision and increased connection.”


  • Prioritizes 21st century learning with flexible classrooms, collaboration space, a central interaction hub, and a library that is integrated throughout
  • Maximizes learning space by synchronizing classrooms, labs, and corridor space, allowing more flexibility for learning to occur everywhere


  • The center of the school is a multi–functional area used for performances, group study, community events, award ceremonies, project work areas, and dining
  • The two-story compact plan has 21% more square footage dedicated to learning than a typical middle school
  • By utilizing a compact plan and efficient building envelope, the district reduced construction costs and energy use over the life of


  • Daylight in classrooms, corridors, and common areas connects students and teachers to the natural environment while reducing energy use
  • Cisterns collect 400,000 gallons annually from rainwater and mechanical system condensate
  • A high reflective roof, low-e glass, sunshades, and lighter building materials reduce the Annual Energy Use by 85,000 kWh


  • The school serves as a symbol of progress for the rural area and is a source of pride for the local community
  • The aesthetic complements the surrounding community by using locally-sourced materials that blend with other district and public facilities
  • The space can be used after hours for a variety of activities and serves as a local resource for the community


  • Through a collaborative process, the district chose to make a 21st century learning model for future schools in the district and identified their top goals for achieving this
  • Provide an efficient use of space, allowing students to spend more time learning
  • Design school to be safe and secure

School Transformation

  • The variety of learning spaces promotes instructional adaptability and learning at different scales, providing students with a wide range of educational opportunities
  • Learning happens everywhere with informal and collaborative learning spaces throughout the school
  • A collaborative and technology-rich environment enables students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to compete and succeed in today’s digitally connected world

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner