2018—Kaufman High School

Kaufman ISD—Kaufman High School
Architect: Huckabee

The high school renovations were built to address numerous needs: aging infrastructure, a disjointed campus, a growing student body and safety concerns. Now, the campus feels like a new, ground up facility—thanks to thoughtful planning, responsive design and meticulous attention to building details. In a tight knit community, this flagship campus provides a place for students and families to gather, celebrate and embrace a renewed sense of pride in their school, their children and their city.


The design brought all dispersed programs under one roof, creating a secure and connected environment for students. The renovations feature engaging interior spaces, an improved building layout and enhanced aesthetics. The open library / media center is a core space within the school and is modeled after a two-story collegiate environment. Glazing puts learning on display and provides daylight in all classrooms.


Intentional choices added significant value at an economical cost. The scope increased during planning; the design team created a thoughtful plan to move forward with renovations, replace select buildings and reuse the site in order to keep a promise to the community. As a result, they achieved substantial savings, maintained a centralized location and avoided relocation of district athletics. Inside, flexible, multi-purpose spaces support long-term value.


Inside and out, the design features elements that require minimal maintenance, have a long life cycle and use energy efficiently. Landscaping for the campus features a large number of new trees but does not require much potable water or long-term maintenance. Rooftop units are highly energy efficient. Glazing uses specialized, low-e glass that minimizes the amount of heat / light energy that passes through without compromising natural light.


The community in which the high school is nestled is small and close-knit. It serves an economically diverse population. The community rallied in support of the design plan, supporting the need to maintain their flagship school in a big way.
To the residents, the high school is a beacon of hope. It’s a safe place for students to learn and grow. It represents opportunity for many. It’s a hub for school and community events, and a place to celebrate important occasions.


The district’s vision was bright and clear from the start. They wanted a school that exemplified the high value placed on students’ learning experience and environment. They wanted to establish cohesive organization and a unified campus plan with room to grow. They wanted to provide superb community spaces. The design team brought the vision to life through charrettes, interviews, student-centered research and small-group discussion to identify and meet critical needs.

Transformation—Star of DistinctionSchool Transformation

The remarkable school transformation is best illustrated by the CTE program, which adopted a 21st century approach that closely mirrors project-based learning. The audio-visual team now has state-of-the-art equipment and a cutting-edge television studio. The robotics program has two labs, and the culinary program has a high-tech kitchen. Holistically, the campus became more comprehensive and more secure, bringing all students under one roof.


Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner