2016—Alvin Junior High School

Alvin ISD—Alvin Junior High School
Architect: SBWV Architects, Inc.

Expansion and complete renovation of 1965 School building for 1000 students in grades 6-8 to meet curriculum standards. The school uses a project based learning model. Project includes new classroom wing, library, stage, weight room, and administration areas. Existing facility was completely renovated and  includes new MEP and Technology systems, provides flexible learning areas, updated athletic facilities, science labs, and daylighting in every classroom and gymnasium using solatubes.


This school is a community landmark. Many of the current students’ parents and grandparents attended school here.  It was critical to develop a facility that meets the needs of current and future students while respecting its history. The school develops a sense of continuity between the past, present, and future by reuse of existing icons and materials, meets the needs of the present and future curriculum, moves forward into the future with a new entrance and introduction of new materials.


The school blends existing & new elements to create a new identity for a 48-year-old facility. A new entrance invites visitors into a secure vestibule and office area. The adjacent corridor uses graphics from the original building for continuity. A new stage is at one end of the cafeteria with performing arts areas behind it. A new library has sliding doors to encourage walk in traffic from the cafeteria. New classroom wing connects two existing corridors that improves flow through the campus.


The project goal was to ensure the updated design met parity with similar schools in the District. User group meetings confirmed design met or exceeded education standards. CM@Risk method allowed for the design and construction team to work together to plan the phased construction. Owner and users were informed daily of construction activities. Architect explained the process of design and construction using the facility as an example to keep the students informed and excited about the project.


180 Solatubes provide daylighting to the gymnasium and existing classrooms without windows. Natural light from new classroom windows, clerestory windows in the library, and in multi-purpose flexible learning spaces avoids reliance on artificial light. 75% of walls, floors, and classrooms were reused. Asbestos and lead paint were eliminated from the campus and Indoor Air Quality was improved with all new HVAC systems. All lighting is LED. Provided cool roofing system on existing and new roofs.


The team created a creative construction phasing plan without using portable buildings. This provided considerable cost savings to the Owner. A post bid addendum reduced construction cost  $353,020 further under budget. A 48-year-old building was transformed into a warm and inviting facility to meet 21st century learning requirements, saving the district approximately $7,000,000 in bond funds. The use of sustainable, low maintenance finishes and efficient MEP systems reduce operation cost.

School Transformation

This school bases its curriculum on project based learning. A Maker Space and flexible learning spaces for students to break out into for individual or group projects were created from existing overgrown courtyards. Classroom furniture and technology systems are not fixed and can be moved around the classroom. State of the art science labs and fine arts facilities replaced outdated ones. STEM and other special classrooms have windows to the corridors to encourage participation in the programs.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner