Designing the community’s first new elementary school in almost 70 years
As part of the most ambitious bond program in the history of Highland Park ISD, three elementary schools were replaced by new facilities on the existing sites. Boone Elementary was built first as the “lifeboat” school allowing the existing schools to rotate in and out during the demolition of the campuses. The process for defining the program had to be rigorous as it would set the educational standards for the rest of the schools.
Replacements were phased over three consecutive years, allowing only 14 months to move students off campus, demolish the old building, and construct a new school complete with sub-grade parking. We led the process with the client’s consultant through the zoning process for Boone Elementary, meeting with several community groups and city council members. As we designed the new building, stepping down the massing fronting residential areas helped the neighbors feel heard. We were also able to maximize green space while still providing a parking garage. Our team worked with administration and staff to develop grade-level classroom arrangements organized around central collaboration spaces, as well as a large group instruction space allowing for instructional flexibility.
When the first new elementary school in more than 60 years was completed, students and parents already felt a sense of pride comparable to the much older traditions of the area’s original elementary schools.
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