2018—Sul Ross Elementary School

Bryan ISD—Sul Ross Elementary School
Architect: Stantec

The new two-story elementary school infuses the elements of nature on the site into the educational learning spaces throughout the building. The existing grove of trees present on the north end of the existing building served as a launching point for the new design. An open concept for the learning commons as well as the introduction of open flexible spaces around the classrooms give immediate access both physically and visually to the rest of the school and to the courtyard.

Design—Star of DistinctionDesign

The discovery zone acts as a central activity hub, connecting the exterior activity of the courtyard to the interior space of the library. The library is located at the heart of the campus, providing different types of learning zones, which enables flexibility and adaptability for the students and teachers. The color palette and textures throughout the building mimic the native landscape that was preserved on the existing site.


The existing multi-building campus was a hindrance to creating valuable connections within the campus. Parts of the existing building were re-purposed and integrated into the new design to create a fully connected facility that supports collaboration. The two-story building allowed for a compact footprint, increasing daylight. The design addressed future growth in two ways by sizing the new building to a larger capacity and positioning it on the site to allow for future expansion if needed.


The natural daylight throughout promotes a healthy learning environment, illuminating classrooms and collaboration spaces. Key site features include the preservation of the existing grove of trees and park-like setting from the original site. The courtyard gives space for outdoor learning and connection with nature. The re-use of the existing site was beneficial for the community, allowing for school to continue without any disruptions.


The facility creates a new positive landmark for the community. The design respects the memories from the past, while providing a renewed sense of pride for the present and future. The school fosters an environment of collaboration between different grade levels and encourages them to engage, explore, and connect with one another.

Planning—Star of DistinctionPlanning

The site was at the forefront of the planning process. Campus safety and security was improved by connecting all the interior spaces, providing important security upgrades, and improving vehicular and pedestrian traffic on the site. The library and outdoor discovery zone were placed at the heart of the school, providing a central collaboration space that is all things inspiring for the children to learn and be active.

School Transformation

The new facility provides a variety of spaces that extend beyond the classroom to foster both collaborative and individual learning. Inspirational graphics and an outdoor learning courtyard promote education through discovery. Transparent views throughout the facility also encourage collaboration, learning on display, and strengthen student connections with nature and their peers.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner