2019—Lemm Elementary School

Klein ISD—Lemm Elementary School
Architect: PBK

Lemm Elementary School underwent renovations and restoration work following Hurricane Harvey consisting of the introduction of Next Generation planning, updates of accessibility standards, replacement of existing HVAC/electrical infrastructure, incorporation of storm water mitigation strategies, and the addition of surface detention capacity.


The layout responds to Personalized Learning by transforming the traditional layout and turning it into 6 individual learning communities. Each Pod is tailored to the students’ needs, allowing them to take ownership of their learning and develop meaningful relationships. This is accomplished by providing glass garage doors and large windows in the classrooms so they have direct and easy flow to the collaborative space. The new entry provides a new sense of pride to the school and its community

Value—Star of DistinctionValue

The original school was a typical hallway classroom layout with no windows. 4 classrooms were housed in portables. The learning environment was maximized by the new pod layout. This allowed to increase the classroom count, eliminating the portables. Corridors were reduced by 75% and 6 collaborative areas were added, all under the same existing footprint. Resilient and low maintenance materials and finishes were introduced, as well as energy saving systems. Daylight devices were also added.


Studies have shown that natural daylight in schools increases student performance and exposure to green spaces adds a restorative effect on their attention. New windows were added to the school opening new views to green areas. Daylight devices where added to the library and collaborative spaces to introduce abundant daylight. The operating cost of the facility was reduced by introducing the new windows and daylight system and by upgrading the school infrastructure with energy savings systems


A special bond was developed between elementary and high school students and teachers when they had to move for a whole year to a nearby new high school. Mentorships, reading partners, and other partnerships were created between the two schools. Those ties continue to flourish and grow even after they have moved out. The community rallied around the school by holding book fairs, donations and fundraisers to help their school get up on its feet as quickly as possible.


Careful considerations were made in the planning process to include all parties and to make the layout an effective personalized learning environment. The core of the layout is individual grade level learning communities. The classrooms revolve around a collaborative space that promotes cross-collaboration and facilitate a gradual release between teacher and learner. An accelerated and thoughtful design/build process was established to quickly move students and teachers back to their school.

School Transformation

“From the havoc of the storm a “great opportunity” arose to reinvent an existing school. The school capacity grew, learning communities were established, collaborative spaces were added, natural daylight and green views were introduced; creating an agile, responsive, student centered environment. Through small but impactful renovations the school continues to be a beacon of pride and unity of its community.”

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner