2017—Lomax Elementary School

La Porte ISD—Lomax Elementary School
Architect: Texas-IBI Group, Inc.

“This new 100,400 SF elementary school replaces a mid-century campus and can accommodate up to 729 students. Organized to foster student safety, security and inclusion, the light-filled core classroom spaces are arranged around shared learning spaces.

Scope: education specifications, programming, master planning, design and phased construction. Connection to place, adaptability, connectivity of space and durable materials ensure the facility will remain a strong civic symbol.”


Learning environments support project-based learning while allowing flexibility – both now and in the future. Six learning neighborhoods, each with a cluster of 5 classrooms, extend from the 2-story main corridor. This fosters collaboration and opportunities for variation in scales of learning. The cafeteria and library were planned for multi-purpose use and off-hour access.

The building’s exterior features curved walls, a subtle color palette and is scaled to the surrounding neighborhood.


Classrooms are arranged around a science and flex spaces that can be configured based on group size and function. Building components and finishes are especially low-maintenance, energy-efficient and life-cycle effective. HVAC and lighting meets the new energy code and creates more standardized maintenance and upkeep, and allows the District to streamline operational staff.

Reuse of an existing site and an efficient design reduced costs for this school designed with the future in mind.


Sustainable concepts such as the reflective white roof, energy efficiency at strategically shaded exterior windows allow maximum daylighting, highly efficient MEP systems; integrated lighting sensors, water management and native landscaping. Occupants benefit from non-toxic interior finish materials that contribute to high quality indoor environment with an increased comfort zone. Both interior and exterior finishes were selected for their recycled properties, durability and maintenance costs.


The location of the new school on the historic site of the original one-room and 1960’s school buildings will continue to strengthen the community’s rich education history. The school on the same site retained the strong sense of community and ensured students and taxpayers that they remain the focus of the District. Key site areas such as student learning courtyards and outdoor play areas reinforce the value of the school in the community. The community feels proud of their school.


Strategic placement of the new building saved a number of historic oak trees. Space for passive learning and green space adjacent to a main road provides buffer from traffic and space for weekend community activities. Additional parking and a third vehicle entry were incorporated. Project phasing allowed school operation during construction. Student safety, noise and traffic control throughout demolition and construction were top priority. The project was fast-tracked during summer months.

School Transformation

A spatial response to the multi-faceted learning needs and abilities of students, flex spaces, collaboration areas and outdoor learning provide high- and low-tech options for learning and instruction. Wi-Fi throughout the school. Site amenities include age appropriate playground equipment, a large windstorm-rated, vaulted covered pavilion and green space. Enlivened multi-purpose rooms and meeting spaces designed for a variety of school functions and civic events; segregated from student areas.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner