Round Rock High SchoolRound Rock, TX
Design Achievement - A sixth high school was needed to accommodate expansive growth in the thriving community of Round Rock, Texas. Round Rock Independent School District challenged the design team to create an adaptable solution that supports a variety of learning activities as student needs evolve. DLR Group responded with a flexible design that serves a multitude of learning styles and promotes both choice and individuality for students. The school consists of four distinct learning environments that allow for various organizational models – interdisciplinary, departmentalized, grade level, academies, and future models. Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science courses are dispersed, flanking the core learning environments to reinforce the connection between core curriculum and advanced CTE curriculum. The organization within each three-story core learning environment also reinforces group learning, with collaboration nooks on each level. Distributed dining spaces are centrally located on level two of each learning environment, giving students the option to dine in multiple places throughout the building. When not being used for dining, these spaces also serve as additional collaborative areas to extend learning beyond the walls of the classroom. Acoustically separated small group rooms, or “think tanks” encourage independent or digital learning, while large, glass sliding doors allow learning to spill into flexible areas outside the classroom. At the heart of the school is a space dubbed “Times Square” which consists of the commons and media center. Times Square links public use areas with the learning environments and creates a centralized hub for students, staff, and visitors.
Scope Summary - The new 481,513 SF high school accommodates 2,600 students in this growing Texas community north of Austin. The building is situated centrally on the site to take advantage of existing landforms and topography to maximize views and the use of outdoor spaces. A plaza at the main entry, featuring colored concrete pavement, decorative seat walls and shade trees, welcomes visitors and provides an outdoor gathering place. Once inside the school, users are greeted with an inviting two-story lobby with views into Times Square, the central hub. Athletic/Health programs and Fine Arts programs are located on the western side of the building, allowing for clear and distinct entry points for those activities. Through this strategic configuration, community use of the high school can be controlled and separated from the core learning environments. Additional amenities include a black box theater and 750-seat auditorium, as well as an amphitheater with seat walls where students can enjoy outdoor performances. The exterior material palette draws inspiration from the Texas Hill Country and uses a blend of limestone, metal panels, translucent panels, and vision glazing. DLR Group provided planning, architecture, interiors and engineering design in collaboration with O’Connell Robertson.