2018—Shirley Hall Middle School

Weatherford ISD—Shirley Hall Middle School
Architect: Huckabee

A 50-year-old campus, not up to district standards, but full of history and memories. The new middle school paves the way for a bright future, helping the district address aging conditions, improve efficiency and modernize the learning environment. The school features flexible configurations to support peer-to-peer and active learning. Three grade-level neighborhoods offer access to classrooms, collaboration zones, outdoor learning space and a collective teacher planning area.


Use of natural materials in a contemporary way blends modern education with aesthetics of the surrounding community. The school is organized into grade-level neighborhoods which are color coded by grade and include a teacher planning area, collab space and multipurpose lab. Furniture was an important feature when designing the school, allowing for flexible instructional styles. Students are surrounded by natural light and opportunities for outdoor learning in any of the four courtyards.


Every space provides opportunities for learning. The school was designed with “pockets” that allow students to spill out of the classroom and use for breakout sessions. Neighborhoods were designed with a glass enclosed collective teacher space at each entry. These spaces provide holistic views of student’s behavior and ease student access to the teachers for additional instructional needs. Student collab spaces create a lively, open learning environment at the heart of each neighborhood.


  • Concrete flooring (95% of all spaces)
  • Natural daylighting
  • Clerestories
  • Reflective white roof
  • ICF
  • Solar orientation
  • LED lighting and light controls
  • Re-use of existing building and site
  • Native landscape and artificial turf lowers the need for irrigation


As the town evolved, the district and community wanted to make the school more prominent and face the main right of way. The campus now has a new identity within the community and is clearly visible from the main street. The middle school sets the precedent for the district going forward on how education should be delivered by not only promoting collaboration through versatility for students, but for the teachers as well. The facility provides multiple venues for community use and connectivity.


The district increased campus capacity to 1,100 students to allow for projected growth and to realign middle school feeders to serve grades 6 – 8. Adding sixth graders provided much-needed reductions of the student populations at all elementary schools and eliminated the need for portable classrooms. The love for the 50-year-old campus from the community resulted in their high level of involvement during the planning process.

School Transformation

The middle school delivers a flexible and efficient environment that provides multiple opportunities for learning from the moment someone enters the school. Creating outdoor connectivity was an important factor to the district. The building and site respond to the district’s vision for curriculum practices in the 21st century, which anticipates the needs and methods in the future. The middle school promotes collaboration through versatility.


Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner