Deer Park ISD—Deer Park High School North Campus
Architect: cre8 Architects
The High School campus has a rich history and the site is composed of a series of additions over the past 86 years. These additions eventually formed a sprawling facility. The renovation successfully realized the unification of spaces, the modernization of function and learning, and the reduction of its ecological footprint. Elements of the building were preserved and incorporated in unique ways to help join the architectural past with its inspiring academic future.
Renovating the existing high school continued the long tradition of education on site. The property is surrounded by neighborhoods and this walkable campus is highly visible to the community. Both local and regional competitions are performed at the campus including music and athletics. The community has access to both the school auditorium and gym for functions. A separate entrance allows for public access and inside the school are secure barriers between the public and private areas.
The existing meandering plan was revised to reduce student travel times and add security to the building. The new design promotes light and incorporates a variety of scales, materials, and colors to bring life into the once dreary facility. Flexible design was incorporated thru the plan allowing for 21st Century learning and instruction to take place virtually anywhere. Moveable partitions, collaboration zones, diverse seating arrangements, and modern technology allow for adaptable spaces.
The planning process included numerous meetings & design charrettes with students, educators, and community members. Historical research and analytics were incorporated into design concepts to establish a plan that supports the curriculum and a newly unfied high school. Design and planning considerations also included all North facing openings to be blast resistant due to close proximity to industry. The project was completed in 3 years over multiple phases while the school was being occupied.
25,000sf of inefficient space was removed from the existing plan without reducing capacity. This well-organized use of space condensed the building footprint, reduced the mechanical load, and allowed for outdoor learning environments, including a cistern. The majority of the existing building did not have natural light and the new facility brought daylight to 85% of spaces and helped to establish a visual connections with the outdoors. Sun shading and Low VOC products were used.
The project came in on budget and incorporated durable and budget friendly materials. The reduction of square footage and usage of efficient mechanical systems contributes to the reduction of operational costs. Repurposing the existing gym into a research media center created a unique space that combines old with new concepts. Renovating an existing school sought to invest back in the surrounding community and continue its positive influence on the neighborhood.
The original campus was comprised of 11 individual buildings and over 12 additions. The new floor plan unites academic functions and creates an exchange of ideas through flexible spaces. Developing a Main Street corridor allows for efficient circulation and visual security. All previously sealed windows were exposed and new openings were created. Elements of original façade were extracted and reincorporated into new construction to maintain its visual identity.
Star of Distinction Category Winner