2019—Cedar Ridge High School Auditorium

Round Rock ISD—Cedar Ridge High School Auditorium
Architect: Stantec

The district had one Performing Arts Center to serve all campuses, but it could not adequately support growing student interest in fine arts education. Recognizing the arts as an important tool for academic achievement, the district decided to invest in a new auditorium addition at each high school. The project denouement is a 34,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility that enhances arts education at the campus, promotes connection, and is an aesthetic expression of the performance.

Design—Star of DistinctionDesign

The design provides a red carpet feel that invites the audience to become part of the performance from the moment they arrive until they reach their seats. The facility includes a variety of specialty spaces that enrich the learning experience at the campus and heighten the performance. From the back of house services to the state-of-the-art theatrical design and acoustics, this 21st-century building provides a unique experience to students and participants alike.

Value—Star of DistinctionValue

The building offers increased opportunities for on-campus fine arts education and as well as after-hours community and district functions. The fully operational, turn-key facility provides ample opportunity to learn both performance and operational skills that students can take to the real world. The new on-campus auditorium allocates district resources more efficiently and increases student safety. Additional features help reduce maintenance costs and increase building efficiency and lifecycle.


Aligning the compact building plan with the existing green space helped with land preservation and provides a visual connection to the outdoors Smart design solutions helped ensure that building orientation challenges had minimal impact on facility efficiency A high-efficiency HVAC system and LED lights with occupancy sensors help reduce overall energy usage without affecting user comfort Additional features help increase building efficiency and lifecycle as well as reduce energy usage.


The design allows for student and community art installations, cultivating pride and a stronger community bond. The facility is a hub for community promotion and can accommodate instruction by local artists. The fly tower and architectural vernacular blend together to create a new auditorium that is a beacon for the campus and surrounding neighborhood. Having a direct high school campus connection fosters feeder K-8 student engagement and enthusiasm at the neighborhood scale.


The district wanted to provide a flexible, on-campus teaching facility to support fully integrated arts education. The new building needed to be adjacent to existing fine arts spaces and respond to building orientation and parking needs. A visioning process with community and district stakeholders led to a cutting-edge facility that links to the existing campus and allows for future expansion. The design also provides promotional opportunities and added flexibility and ROI for the district.

School Transformation

The 750-seat auditorium supports multiple events, such as performances and full grade-level assemblies, that were previously held in the high school cafetorium. The facility provides a real-world theatrical setting with state-of-the-art technology and resources for hands-on experience in a 21st-century learning space. An auditorium by name, the new facility fuses an innovative design with leading-edge performance production capabilities to enhance the day-to-day educational needs of its campus.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner