2018—Corsicana Middle School

Corsicana ISD—Corsicana Middle School
Architect: Stantec

This 158,000 SF replacement middle school was built on a new site adjacent to the existing high school and stadium. The design combines traditional exterior architecture with a 21st century, student-centered learning environment. The school is organized around an open multipurpose space that includes an open media center, large group instruction, and dining. Main academic wings are located at the north end and include informal breakout spaces and access to daylight in every classroom.


  • An open multipurpose space at the heart of the school includes stage and dining with a large group instruction space floating above.
  • Directly adjacent is an open library, which anchors the front entry and is part of the main circulation.
  • Arranging grade levels into learning communities that surround flex spaces provides a flexible student-centered environment.]
  • The exterior design was intended to be easily recognizable as a civic building that invokes timeless longevity for the community.


  • Refinishing an existing, underutilized stadium parking lot for faculty parking reallocated money for educational spaces.
  • Constructing a separate building for the Career Tech program saved money by eliminating fire wall construction and lowering insurance premium.
  • Using polished concrete throughout the building provides a sustainable flooring option with low maintenance costs and a long lifespan.
  • Wall protection used in high traffic areas protects the interior and allows for wayfinding.


  • Low emitting materials in carpet, paint, and finishes improve indoor air quality.
  • High efficiency light fixtures and HVAC systems and controls optimize energy performance.
  • White, reflective roofing reduces energy use throughout the warm months.
  • Regional sourced building materials were used.

Community—Star of DistinctionCommunity

  • To this community, a new building was a big deal. In this case, it was even more important because it was for their children.
  • The school that was replaced was often used for community events and meetings, so the new building also had to provide spaces for these activities.
  • The community voiced their desire to provide the best educational opportunities for their children while also wanting the building to fit within the context of the town; the community was ecstatic with the final result.


  • Aware that their town is not a primary destination, the community engaged in the conversation early on about what this school needed to provide for their students’ futures and attract new families.
  • The design team led a visioning process every other week for several months with 100+ community members.
  • 21st century learning spaces were a departure from the district’s existing buildings, so touring other schools was vital in helping them understand what they wanted for their new building.

School Transformation

  • The new middle school has completely transformed student learning in this small Texas town for years to come, as well as a community in desperate need of a new building.
  • Open space at the heart of the school enhances student communication and provides a unique social environment.
  • Small group flex spaces near the classrooms support student collaboration.
  • Technical careers are important to this community, so providing a new space was essential to the program of the school.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner