Pasadena ISD—Pomeroy Elementary School
Architect: cre8 Architects
“The new school is a replacement Vanguard Magnet, LEED Silver, 21st Century learning environment that consolidates 900 elementary students from an outdated building and multiple temporary structures into 110,830 sf. The Vanguard program teaches leadership skills at all grade levels and instills a sense of ownership in the building and the programs by the students. Spaces are designed to accommodate this curriculum and adapt as new technologies and teaching methodologies emerge.”
“The design utilizes durable materials, rectilinear forms, and natural light. The new school is designed to support the 21st Century instructional model. Educational spaces and furnishings expand, contract, flex, and combine. Passive learning is provided via iconography throughout the building. Learning spaces are also located outside, with porches, an amphitheater, and a learning courtyard featuring elements for geography, geology, science and math study.”
The new school was constructed on the existing campus so there was no land purchase required. Educational spaces are designed to flex and accommodate future learning styles. A large flexible space is the Amphitheater, Theater, Gym, and Cafeteria which changes function by operable walls, and can expand or shrink as needed. Building systems are designed to accommodate building expansions and future technologies. A colorful palette is comprised of paint, tile, and wallcovering murals.
The school was designed to LEED Silver criteria with sustainable materials and processes, daylight harvesting, digital control systems, and water conserving fixtures. The design goes beyond a healthy building — a plan for healthier students includes fresh air classroom spaces, and increased physical activity by making the stairs fun places. The 2 story building replaces a single story school with multiple temporary buildings, housing more students and maximizing green space on the site.
This school has the highest enrollment of any of the District’s elementary schools, and parents camp out in line to get a coveted spot at during enrollment. The community is economically disadvantaged, high density apartment dwellers who live in the shadows of refineries and chemical plants, and hold bake sales and other fundraisers help fund amenities and programs. The community is primarily immigrants with first generation citizen students.
The stakeholders were administration, faculty, parents, students, and community. Sessions were held with the stakeholders to generate ideas and set goals. One of the challenges was building a school on a site with a fully operational school on it. The school was built in 2 phases. Phase 1 included classrooms and the cafeteria. When Phase 2 was complete, a temporary wall was removed along the west elevation of the building and the two phases became one school.
The school embraces NextGen learning inside and outside of the classroom providing spaces, furnishings, technology, and sustainability to support its 21st Century instructional model. Natural daylight is prevalent throughout, and fresh air learning spaces are provided. Spaces and furnishings expand, contract, and combine to accommodate a variety of learning types, from class, co-class, small group, project based or individual.
Star of Distinction Category Winner