Palacios Elementary School was designed with 36 classrooms, 2 computer labs, 1 science classroom, a music classroom, 1 life skills classroom, 1 self-contained classroom, a gymnasium, library and a cafeteria. This school has a capacity of 800 students with 22:1 teach/student ratio.
Rio Grande City CISD
The design theme of this two-story elementary school is “respecting the land, the people and the history of the community”. Historically, the site is located along the route that the Spanish Escandon Expedition took in the early 1750’s as they crossed the Rio Grande to spread Catholicism to the north. Consequently, the plan of the facility takes on a major and minor axis in the form of a cross to further emphasis the history of the community. The two-story tall Learning Resource Center and the Cafetorium overlook the historical community nestled along the banks of the Rio Grande River and pays homage to its people while creating a school with strong community focus.
The program required a design for an 800-student campus on a slightly sloping eighteen-acre site with a 90-foot tall hill at the north end of the site. The school is “keyed” into the hill providing ground access to each floor from opposite ends of the school, creating layers of entry that transition the users from exterior spaces to interior spaces in a “hierarchical procession” further emphasizing the procession of the historical church community. The two-story tall major axis corridor is designed to create a careful consideration for the touch, feel and sound of architecture. Functionally, the major axis corridor provides direct access to the “public areas” of the school, while the minor axis corridor provides access to the quieter “private areas” of the school. The split-face concrete masonry veneer is stratified to depict the stratification of the exposed hill that this split-level plan is keyed into.
ERO was selected to provide design services for this new 700-student elementary school. The full-services contract included civil engineering, design services for data, phone, intercom, security, the latest technology features, energy efficiencies, environmental considerations and communication and coordination of landscape architecture. The construction included double wythe fully insulated and moisture protected exterior masonry wall double pane glass windows, CTEM ballasted roof w/20 yr. warranty including damage from 4″ hail, centralized chilled water with electric strip heating and HVAC to control humidity on variable frequency drives. The design objectives included a main vestibule security entrance through the central admin office, fully integrated technology in the classrooms and environmental considerations throughout the design process.