Design for an historic school enhances learning opportunities and community participation
Our renovation and addition to Dallas Independent School District (DISD)’s Franklin D. Roosevelt High School (FDR) brings this important and historic community resource new capacity for learning and services. Built in 1961, prior to integration, the school served the area’s African American population. A source of local pride, FDR has numerous, supportive alumni who proudly advocate for the school.
Collaborating with DISD administration, we worked to bring their vision of a celebratory space for the community to life. Respecting the original modernist design, our design program removes an old addition and adds a three-story wing housing the Health and Sciences Academy and the Early College program. Serving as the new main entry, the addition includes a hall of honor celebrating the history of the school, dedicated spaces for the community, and space for FDR’s active and thriving student alumni association.
Among challenges for the design were sloping topography and lack of accessible entry. Our solutions include a “celebration bridge” leading into the school, more accessible entry points, and a secure outdoor green gathering space, which can be accessed from the dining room and the library. The pride the community has in the school is infectious, and we are honored to have this opportunity to contribute to the ongoing history of a treasured community institution.
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