2019—Leo Adams Middle School

Northwest ISD—Leo Adams Middle School
Architect: PBK

The two-story facility features classrooms, gymnasium, food service, administration and ancillary support areas. On-site improvements and site amenities includes parking, covered walkways, utilities and athletic fields. The project supports a capacity of 1,200 students. Increased space sizes include a notebook distribution room, additional instrument storage, and additional ensemble room, and larger collaboration spaces at the classroom wings. Each grade will have a separate hallway wing.


The district’s core belief “taking responsibility for each student’s success” was the focus. To encourage cross collaboration, multiple collaborative spaces were created. Safety impacted the layout to ensure visibility and security were prioritized. The media center, or “heart” of the school was designed with natural lighting, wood ceilings and warm tones. The community inspired how the building has its arms extended to school supporters.


Programs can easily thrive with the multiple flex spaces across the school. Academic wings and collaborative spaces were designed for larger multi-class presentations without moving students. Exterior spaces were created as multi-function to reduce square footage but meet the district’s changing needs. Best practices in energy efficient design, life cycle cost and attention to environment helped ensure the school optimized building performance and still maintained quality learning environments.


Facility sustainability is centered on the district’s core belief of taking responsibility for student success. There is an abundance of natural light. The school uses durable low maintenance finishes to improve air quality, extend life cycle cost and lower annual costs. Added LED lighting, smart fixtures and controls help sustainability. Arid landscaping reduces water usage, lighting locations reduces lighting pollution and secured zones promote healthy productive learning.


Community is reflected through enriching experiences building positive bonds between students and teachers. This experience extends past school walls to benefit both the community and those who visit. Welcoming areas and flex spaces add opportunities for community engagement and it ensures the district provides each student with the tools for a successful future. “Kids come first,” but the community is close second. Each successful graduate leads to another remarkable community member.


The district’s core beliefs stimulated the initial planning and design charrette. All aspects were important, from furniture promoting active learning to safe and secure flex zones. Stakeholders and staff were empowered during design. They inspired the layout to optimize the flow of learning in collaboration spaces, promoting that learning happens anywhere. Sustainability, site conditions and facility adjacencies were prioritized to ensure placement and environment benefitted the community.

School Transformation

Through design and planning of this new middle school, students transform themselves from elementary students to bright young adults using the opportunities provided by the facility. Technology and graphics help play an integral part in facilitating a community-like atmosphere for students and teachers, creating identity and a sense of pride within the building. These positive interactions continue to reinforce the district’s core belief of creating student success through multiple avenues.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner