2018—Hamshire-Fannett Elementary School

Hamshire-Fannett ISD—Hamshire-Fannett Elementary School
Architect: IBI Group

The new 90,000 SF facility replaces a 1950’s era campus that was damaged in a fire. Within the facility are primary grade level, early childhood, and Pre-K programs. The community expressed historical sentiment in keeping the replacement facility on the current site. Organized to foster student safety, security, and inclusion, new features include security vestibules, card access doors, and real-time cameras. The school acts as a popular hub for local events and school functions.


A 1-story school with a centrally located library acts as a vibrant, interactive multi-purpose space that utilizes flexible furniture. All entry points are defined with red cedar, limestone, and a metal roof. Varying grade level pods are designated by color and wayfinding while durable finishes were chosen for longevity and adaptability. Instructional spaces surround a central flex space purposed for various educational opportunities to enhance the learner experience.


A constrained budget called for efficient floor plan designs to reach a low GSF area, a VRF mechanical system for 2/3 of the facility, and the utilization of low to no maintenance materials to minimize overall operating costs. The inclusion of highly efficient lighting for rebate, recycled materials, and sustainable practices increased life-cycle costs for the project. Carefully specifying furniture and bidding resulted in cost savings that were passed directly back to the District.


Broad daylighting to classrooms and public spaces provided exterior views to the garden and a connection to the surrounding natural environment. Low VOC paint, PVC free wall protection, sustainable adhesives with no off-gassing, and low to no maintenance finishes kept air quality healthy. Cool roofing, low power HVAC, and high performance lighting reduced energy consumption and costs. Reusing existing concrete paving and flooring with recycled content kept products out of the local landfill.


The traditional farming and ranching community is rural in nature and identity. The design reflects the people of the District, incorporates multi-purpose spaces for community use, and enhances the visibility of the town’s architectural flavor through collaborative planning and simple exterior materials. Building the new school on the same site retained the strong sense of community and ensured that they remain the focus of the District. As farmers and ranchers do – waste not want not.


Visioning workshops, social media tools, benchmarking schools with corresponding requirements, and hosting open town hall meetings were all strategic planning tactics conducted by the Design Committee. Stakeholders agreed a pod plan concept with the inclusion of next generation technology and furniture would best suit the District’s needs. Early planning for future growth and community engagement identified infrastructure improvements that could be addressed before construction began.

School Transformation

The new facility offers a modern approach to education with tighter security, interactive technology, next generation learning spaces, and flexible ergonomic furniture. Instructional technology and adaptable furniture revolutionized the learning culture by allowing different types of learning: peer to peer, collaborative, reflective, and large group instruction. Easily configuring the environment to the curriculum benefits the learner through engagement and participation.


Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner