- Granbury ISD
- Bond News
GHS TRANSFORMATION HONORED FOR SCHOOL ARCHITECTURE EXCELLENCE
September 21, 2017
The transformation of Granbury High School will be featured at the Exhibit of School Architecture during the state convention of the Texas Association of School Administrators and Texas Association of School Boards on October 6-8, 2017, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.
Granbury ISD was one of 24 district received 2017 Stars of Distinction for excellence in one or more areas including community, planning, transformation, design, value, and sustainability. Each project of the new or renovated schools in the exhibit will be showcased for celebrating excellence in planning and design of the learning environment.
The Exhibit of School Architecture awards are given at the discretion of a 12-member jury, which includes four school board members, four administrators, two representatives from the Texas Society of Architects, and two representatives from the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE). To be eligible, projects had to be newly constructed or renovated public education facilities completed in the past five years.
Construction at the high school began in November 2014 with principal work completed in Fall 2016.
Huckabee school architectural firm led all GISD projects in the 2013 bond initiative and worked alongside the Buford Thompson Company, which served as the construction manager at-risk.
The renovations and additions to the high school campus were part of the $84.9 million bond program approved by GISD voters in November 2013. Additions were for career and technical education, fine arts, ninth grade academic classrooms, and office area with a secure entry. The plan also included building a robust technology infrastructure for model classrooms throughout the school district.
The design features a collegiate look with Granbury stone used prominently to provide a consistent look throughout the exterior of the building with entry points clearly distinguished for parents and visitors. Inside, a commons area is the focal point of the interior with the cafeteria, library, and coffee bar similar to a university student center.
Academic departments are grouped, with teachers having common office areas to meet individually with students, for tutoring, and for collaboration with their colleagues. Hallways are streamlined to provide efficient corridors for student movement and supervision. In addition, CTE programs are centralized in the back of the building with a separate secure entry as well as classrooms and labs designed specifically for those specialized programs – including a new culinary arts commercial kitchen and bistro, a new aviation workshop, a courtroom, a collegiate-style lecture hall, and health science classrooms.
The front of the building features a new wayfinding trellis and courtyard area with a parent drop-off and pick-up lane that aligns with Pirate Drive. In addition, the school has new parking lots as well as a new area for the bus transportation hub and marching band practice grid.
Furniture selection played a prominent role in the design, as GISD and Huckabee looked beyond typical to create a flexible, engaging, and technology-driven space.
In the Learning Commons, soft seating is used to create inviting areas for informal learning, socialization, and idea sharing. Tables of varying height are ideal for study and small-group learning. Breakout rooms in feature collaborative technology that can be used for pre-making research and group exploration activities. Learning stairs are used for social engagement as well as a group presentation space. All furniture can be rearranged to suit student needs.
In other learning spaces, furniture selections improved mobility and flexibility. Classrooms are easily rearranged to transition between stand-and-deliver and Project Based Learning. For many, furniture is no longer an inhibitor to learning and allows for more creativity and deeper engagement between peers and between students and teachers.
GHS was highlighted in the Fall 2016 issue of Learning by Design magazine as an Outstanding Project. The Granbury project was also featured for outstanding design in the November 2016 issue of American School & University magazine. The August 2015 issue of District Administration magazine focused on new and improved school facilities with GHS spotlighted on the cover and feature article.
In addition, the GISD technology department received the Exemplary School Award for excellence in education from Extreme Networks in January 2017.
The award signifies GISD’s commitment to a personalized a 21st Century learning environment. The district has invested over $10 million in building a robust infrastructure to support model classrooms and a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative with the ability to grow with increased student needs and educational standards. Also completed is a fiber optic wide area network to increase bandwidth at all campuses.
Improvements include new standardized technology for every classroom, including interactive and mobile learning devices; classroom audio so that teachers can be heard clearly while presenting instruction; wireless Internet capability enhancements; and network operation improvements.