2019—Lanny Frasier Middle School

Mesquite ISD—Lanny Frasier Middle School
Architect: WRA Architects

A new middle school for 1200 students, including an 1800 seat football/track stadium. The two-story classroom building is organized to provide individual core-classroom communities for each of the 3 grades served. Shared spaces include a light-filled Media Commons and adjacent Cafeteria, both fronting on a central Courtyard; rehearsal spaces for Band, Choir, and Orchestra, separate Gymnasiums for competition and practice, and a large locker room building constructed as an EF-5 Tornado Shelter.


The building layout was carefully zoned to separate loud spaces from quiet spaces and public/community-use areas from secured instructional areas. The building massing is designed to hold large volume spaces back from the front drop-off. Extensive glass provides transparency between Library, main corridor, and the Outdoor Learning Courtyard. The Cafetorium opens to the Courtyard and has four serving lines and large glass overhead doors. Fine Arts area has direct access to the Cafetorium stage.


The long classroom wing is oriented East/West for optimum solar orientation. South facing windows are shaded. To minimize the sitework costs on the steep part of the site, part of the classroom wing was raised 32″ and has two sets of short stairs and a ramp for full accessibility. A detention pond was built on adjacent City property which became District property after a land swap with the City. The project is adjacent to a large District stadium and utilizes its parking during school hours.


Numerous Sustainable Design features employed. East/West configuration of the long classroom wing reduces solar heat loads. South facing windows are deeply shaded. Floor levels vary to follow the natural topography and minimize sitework costs. To control stormwater run-off, a detention pond was constructed on adjacent City property which became District property after a land swap with the City. New surface parking was reduced by using existing parking of an adjacent stadium during school hours.


The plan is rotated slightly to open up the main entrance and pull the large volume spaces back from the drop-off lane. The school includes various spaces which can be securely opened to the public for after-hours events: Cafetorium, Library/Media Center, Band Hall, Drama Department, and others. Since the project abuts the visitor parking of a large District stadium, an additional secondary entrance was provided to utilize the adjacent parking during regular school hours and after-hours events.


The Facility Planning Committee, District officials, and the architect analyzed projected growth in the community served by the school. The initial capacity is designed for up to 1,200 students with core elements sized to enlarge the school in the future up to 1,400 students. To more aptly accommodate parents and public visitors to the campus, the front security vestibule includes a Parent/Visitor Room and Restrooms for public use to prevent public access into the secured portions of the school.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner