2016—Pebble Hills High School

Socorro ISD—Pebble Hills High School
Architect: Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, Inc.

The school district planned for a rapid growing population. A 70-acre site was master planned to design various phases. The first three phases included academic & core spaces for a 9th grade center. Phase IV was the final stage for converting the school into a high school. Phase IV included four major components – a 3-story academic wing, detached Career & Technology building, and fine arts and athletic departments. Final phase added 291,130 SF for 535,000 SF total of educational spaces.


The school is located in the middle of a residential zone with planned future commercial development. Visually it is an anchor point that defines the community’s pride. The auditorium, gymnasium & athletic fields are community landmarks. They serve in presentations, art exhibits & competitions. It provides a sense of intellectuality, sportsmanship and technological progress in an area with a population growth. Community involvement was encouraged during the design of all phases of planning


Design—Star of DistinctionThe building flows east-west with two 3-story wings connected to the central admin core spaces by a double height corridor. Adjacent are specialty classrooms, athletics & performing arts. The focal points to each department are unique battered wall entry elements that identify building & spaces. CATE is a detached building that includes spaces for Career & Technology to teach students about culinary arts, law enforcement, judicial system, floral design, animal sciences & various building trades.


The school was designed in four phases over 7 years. A master plan was developed to attain the best organizing of spaces & making the best use of the available land. The initial 3 phases comprised of spaces for a 9th grade center but the 4th phase was to upgrade the facility to a high school. Planning was essential for future demands, designs, space organization & adjacencies. Adjustments were done for population, curriculum, construction phasing & standards and code requirements.


The building systems comprise the latest mechanical & electrical systems which comply with the owner’s energy management technology. The building design strived to connect interior spaces to exterior landscaped areas through a series of glazed curtain walls to bring natural daylight into the common areas and classrooms. The insulated glass panels at the main gymnasium provide an abundance of natural light & eliminate heat gain.


Construction materials & exterior wall assemblies comply with energy codes for energy conservation. The culinary department includes a kitchen and indoor/outdoor dining space for real world experience in restaurant management. These spaces can also be utilized for school events & gatherings. A greenhouse supports the floral department and horticulture, which also gives students real world experience. All interior & exterior lights are controlled by automation systems to help energy efficiency.

School Transformation

The final phase completed the educational requirements to become a high school. The final design transformed the use of the school to provide learning areas which include design elements, space organization & technology for a 21st Century learning environment. The performing arts auditorium has the latest in audiovisual technology & acoustics. The science classrooms, culinary arts and others, are all equipped with utilities, equipment, furniture & tools to perform real world scenarios.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner