Plans for the new elementary school’s design were approved by the Three Rivers Independent School District board on June 24.
Architect Randy Fromberg of Fromberg Associates in Austin said they are 90 days out to complete bid documents and could start construction in four months. After that it would be about 420 days until the anticipated completion date in 2014. The new high school was also designed by Fromberg Associates.
“We’ve included everything we could imagine – the furniture budget, technology budget and $150,000 for the playground,” Fromberg said.
The building will have card reader locks for all entrances and the parking lot. That means nobody can enter the building or parking lot without either a card pass or getting let in at the main entrance. Each entrance also will be equipped with cameras so the office can see who is coming in.
Traffic flow also was kept in mind for the design with two one-way drives so parents are on one side and buses are around the corner with access to the gym.
The main entrance will be near the gym with grades 3-6 on that end and then pre-kindergarten through second grade on the other end with a courtyard in the middle for two play areas and room for a learning garden.
Large cylinders, called sound clouds, will hang from the ceiling in the cafeteria to help absorb the sounds and control noise levels.
The library’s reading center will have a Live Oak County theme with a canopy for students to read under.
Students will transition into using restrooms down the hall as they get older since the youngest grades have restrooms inside their classrooms. Second grade will have one just outside their door, and third through sixth will go down the hall.
The desks in each room can be faced in multiple ways so teachers can line them in rows, cluster them into groups or lay out their room to suit various lesson formats. Antonio Naylor of Fromberg Associates said this is because 21st century classrooms need flexibility in their design since it’s difficult to determine what direction education will go in even just a few years.
“It’s a cultural thing if it’s going to be used or not,” Fromberg said.
The principal’s office is positioned to see who is coming through the main entrance and driving up to the building.
“There are things we’ve been doing to try to cut costs,” Naylor said.
Some of the cost cutting changes to the design included limiting the amount of outdoor canopies and being prudent with pouring concrete. Other changes to the design included altering the gym size to accommodate volleyball and basketball.