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T A S A / T A S B

A W A R D S

West Columbia Elementary

project client

West Columbia Elementary, West Columbia

Columbia-Brazoria ISD

architect

SHW Group

tural). The key feature of this project is a working sundial in the main foyer, which keeps time accurately because

contractor

Tellepsen Builders

the site. Depending on the season, light and shadows are

consultants

DBR Engineering Consultants (MEP); Brooks & Sparks

projected through the glass panels in the school’s tower

(civil); Haynes Whaley Associates (structural); Millunzi and Associ-

that students can interpret to tell the time. A science lab

ates (food services)

and two fine-arts classrooms open onto an outdoor space

photographer

Richard Payne, FAIA

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the design team calculated the longitude and latitude of

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ground Floor plan 1 pre-kindergarten 2 kindergarten 3 1st grade 4 2nd grade 5 3rd grade 6 4th grade 7 5th grade 8 6th grade 9 administration 10 library 11 fine arts 12 physical education 13 dining

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that provides an indoor/outdoor feel to instructional areas.

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A cistern captures rainwater from the roof to provide a Completed in September 2005, West Columbia Elementary

water source for science classes.

is the realization of a vision to create a dramatically dif-

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andi beierman

ferent learning environment for students. By combining the existing K-4 facility and the fifth and sixth grade facility, the architects created a 95,584-sf campus that promotes inter-

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est and creativity. Classroom pods are uniquely designed to

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offer swing space for changing class needs. Wood, bright

r e s o u r c e s fences : Merchants Metals; precast architectural concrete :

colors, and natural light stimulate students and encourage

Shepler’s (Tilt Panel);

learning. Beyond the classroom settings, the entire facility

Medallion; unit masonry wall assemblies : Eagle-Cordell Concrete Prod-

cementitious decks :

Tectum;

cast stone :

is designed to serve as a learning tool. Corridors become

ucts; masonry veneer assemblies : Acme Brick and Elgin-Butler (blend);

extensions of classrooms, with geometrical floor patterns,

exterior insulation and finish systems :

time-line graphics, maps, and display space. Tile patterns

and wall panels :

Dow Building Materials;

roof

Flex Thermo; specialty doors : The Cookson Company; entrances and

concepts, such as simple counting blocks in the lower

storefronts : United States Aluminum; unit skylights : Major Industries-

grade level pods and more complex patterns in the upper

(translucent panel); glass : Oldcastle Glass; tile : Daltile; special ceiling

grade level pods. Areas of the building are left exposed to

surfaces : USG Interiors; athletic surfacing ( indoor ): Sport Court (Mondo

enable the students to see how the internal mechanisms of

USA, dist.); laminate flooring : Armstrong; acoustical wall treatments :

the building operate (fire main, HVAC, mechanical, struc-

Tectum; quarry tile : American Olean

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Millennium Building Components; membrane roofing :

in the hallways are configured to teach mathematical

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t e x a s

a r c h i t e c t

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Texas Architect Jan/Feb 2007: Spaces for Learning