Crandall ISD—Hollis T. Dietz Elementary School
Architect: WRA Architects
A new school on a new site in a fast-growth neighborhood. The project palette employs design elements from the new subdivision including natural stone and standing seam metal roofing. Features include multi-purpose and shared-use areas within the instructional zones. Designed as a 21st Century learning environment, the school also includes many Sustainable Design features making it highly energy-efficient. Every classroom has natural daylight, with skylights used in the interior zone classrooms.
Major design goals included daylight throughout; bright, vibrant interiors; and an exterior compatible with the neighborhood context. Natural light in every classroom, using skylights in the interior zones. Colorful, playful interiors are exciting and stimulating to the children (and teachers!). The design employs materials and elements from the subdivision including natural stone and standing seam metal roofing. Also includes many Sustainable Design features making it highly energy-efficient.
Extensive use of recycled materials including concrete, steel framing, insulation, ceiling tiles, playground equipment, rubber playground surfacing, and landscape mulch. Indigenous plants selected to reduce irrigation, save water. Materials and finishes selected for long life cycle and low maintenance, reducing replacement costs. Features include several multi-purpose areas. Computerized Energy Management System controlled at District maximizes energy efficiency in the building operation.
Designed with many Sustainable Design features: Shaded exterior glass, minimal East-West facing glass, shared-use spaces open to the community, and a central computerized Energy Management System. Extensive use of recycled materials. Materials and finishes selected for long life-cycle, low maintenance, no VOCs, no off-gassing. Indigenous landscaping selected to reduce irrigation, save water. A major design goal, natural light in every classroom, includes using skylights over the interior zones.
As the first school in a new neighborhood, this project was an energizing catalyst bringing newcomers together around a common vision — their new neighborhood’s new school. Diverse voices in the community rallied together around the school’s form reflecting the design elements of their new homesteads. Multi-purpose areas open to community use after hours helped make the new school an anchor for the new neighborhood. Pride in their new state-of-the-art learning center also unified the community.
This school is the second siting of the District’s new prototype elementary, and lessons learned from the first site yielded practical, albeit minor, adjustments, benefiting this project. Meticulous planning sessions included Administration and campus leadership, facility committee, and various community public stakeholders. Consensus around the school’s planning was forged through the collaboration of newcomers of the new subdivision and long-time stakeholders in the District and community.
Star of Distinction Category Winner