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Project 20/21 – Chaos in the Classroom: Stimulating 21st Century Learning

Objective 1: Learn how one of the largest and fastest growing school districts in the state of Texas took a leap of faith and broke the mold of their 20th century middle school prototype. Objective 2: Learn how Cypress-Fairbanks ISD created a vision for change by challenging the statuesque for teachers and administrators ,embracing the idea of constant change, and welcoming the notion of chaos in the classroom. Objective 3: See how they ignored the boundaries of the traditional classroom in order to broaden the educational experience for their middle school students, and at the same time, create a distinct 21st century learning environment which provides educators a unique opportunity for instructional flexibility.

learning objectives


Growth •

107,995 = student enrollment in 2011

38,889 = new students over last 10 years

84 campuses includes 52 elementary schools, 17 middle schools, 11 high schools, and 4 special program facilities

33 new schools built since 2000 (22 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, & 4 high schools)

25th largest school district in the nation

3rd largest school district in Texas

2011-2012 – 30.3% White, 42.6% Hispanic, 16% African American, 8% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 2% Multi-racial, 0.06% Pacific Islander

97 languages and dialects spoken by students

2011-2012 – 48% economically disadvantaged

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD district facts

The Planning Process • • • • •

committee analyze existing prototype nature of the middle school student future of education – research energy & environment – sustainability



THINK outside the BOX

size & relationships

size & relationships

personal experience

personal experience

personal experience







higher order thinking skills

Student centered learning environment Reconsider halls, walls and classroom

Self-directed /Self-paced learning

Create personalized student experience

Technology is the tool

Building to support technology, anytime, anywhere

Learning is multi-disciplined

Teachers and disciplines to connect

Flexible environment

Variety of spaces for different modes of learning

design committee

design matters

prototype “ability”

• Reduced footprint allows for the purchasing of smaller sites and reduces site impact

MS17 Floor plan

Spillane MS Floor plan

footprint comparison

• Three story design reduces foundation costs and simplifies structural framing • Less roof area reduces solar heat gain and energy consumption

primary design objectives

Texas CHPS (Collaborative for High Performance Schools) CHPS helps facilitate and inspire change in our educational system. The goals of CHPS are to: • Increase student performance with better-designed and healthier facilities • Raise awareness of the impact and advantages of high performance schools • Provide professionals with better tools to facilitate effective design, construction and maintenance of high performance schools • Increase school energy and resource efficiency • Reduce peak electric loads

Provide natural

daylight in learning spaces

High Tech - building as a teaching tool of Energy Conservation, Technology and Science

Design for the digital

Interesting, engaging, relevant, mentoring, and real world application

Reduce construction and lifecycle

generation and project based learning


specific design objectives

natural light team teach




instructional flexibility

instructional space


circulation space

test, self-paced study

overflow to LGI connection to outdoor learning

flexible use



Large Group Instructional staff development collegiate setting

variety of flex spaces

team / project based learning

distributed technology

variety of flex learning

connection to media center

distributed administration

media center connected to small learning communities natural lighting

learning bridges – computer labs

increase connectivity

exciting spaces

outdoor learning space

solar-powered fans alleviate heat and teach energy transformation

rainwater collected in cistern flows to water trough and later used for several science experiments

learning and experimenting in the water trough

21st century

durable materials

Fiber Cement Panels, Brick and CMU selected to keep construction costs down

durable, long lasting and low maintenance materials used on the exterior envelope

activities entry

Grades Served | 6-8 Capacity | 1,568 students Site size | 29.9 acres Facility size | 245,000 square feet Budget | $33,417,654 Actual Cost | $30,303,000 Cost/SF | $123.69 Project Completion | August 2011

project details


• • • • •

simple solution transformational change flexible design cost effective solution sustainable design

Salyards Middle School presentation  

Presentation given at 2012 TASA TASB mid winter conference by SHW Group and Cypress Fairbanks ISD

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