2017—William R. Blocker Addition and Renovations

Texas City ISD—William R. Blocker Addition and Renovations
Architect: Texas-IBI Group, Inc.

“The site of two landmark school buildings in the heart of the District was ideal, their condition was not. This school’s design is the result of a unique and highly-tailored response that fulfilled the District’s curricular needs and community expectations transforming the existing school into a state-of-the-art teaching facility. Re-energizing the District, this project raised the expectations of their staff and students to expect more.”

DesignDesign—Star of Distinction

A two-story 21st century classroom addition was placed between the two “anchor” buildings that were revitalized using low maintenance, durable finishes and colors. Divided into two learning communities per floor, each features academic, library, STEM and support spaces around a flex area. These spaces flow around a centralized courtyard, avoiding long corridors characteristic of the original building. Large-scale graphics depict the community history.


This school was planned as the transformation of an existing high school into a state-of-the-art teaching facility. Over 50% of the program comprised renovated existing facilities. Centralization of the physical plant further reduced District operating costs.

Expanded by over 50%, the building’s mechanical and electrical systems were engineered to provide a centralized storm refuge during an emergency situation


Sustainability—Star of DistinctionGreen, high performance TX-CHPS Designed School maximized students’ cognitive performance and provided opportunities for environmental and programmatic learning. Daylight harvesting + integrated lighting sensors, high performance glazing with exterior shading and highly efficient MEP systems in all classrooms and perimeter areas. Older dispersed mechanical systems were replaced with a new, centralized physical plant.

Anchor buildings were reskinned using a high performance building envelope.

CommunityCommunity—Star of Distinction

The architectural vocabulary of the buildings was key in connecting with local history. Masonry on the front entry wall depicts the geologic strata of the ground beneath it. On the lobby floor, is a replica of the original building’s 1940 State of Texas.

In support of their low-income/poverty level demographic the District converted one “anchor” into an Early Childhood Center and Teen Clinic. This provided an opportunity to integrate students, parents, and teachers into the Head Start program.


Community Team was formed to shape and support the planning process. Recommendations included: visibility in the community, facilities for community use, and repurposing the existing high school. Educational specifications from the District’s new progressive teaching program included collaborative spaces, small learning communities, sustainable features, community history and security.

Designed to enhance the town’s distinct architectural flavor. Enhanced access control and safety vestibules.

School TransformationTransformation—Star of Distinction

This design takes “Building as a Teacher” to the fullest extent. Student-centered design concepts such as flex spaces, collaboration areas, makerspace, and outdoor learning provide options for learning and instruction; Wi-Fi throughout. Building has windowed mechanical rooms and exposed plenums painted and color-coded with graphics.

Enlivened flexible rooms and meeting spaces for school functions. Public events and are segregated from student areas allowing for community use.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner