Ero Architects

Dr. Abraham P. Cano 9th Grade Academy

Harlingen CISD
  • Client

    Harlingen CISD

  • Budget


  • City


  • Sq. Ft.



Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy is an example of the Harlingen Consolidated School District’s (CISD) effort to innovate education delivery and provide specialized course groupings for Texas graduation endorsements. CISD desired to collocate all 9th graders into one facility with the goal of preparing the students to excel in high school and beyond and offer them modern curriculum opportunities. The community responded enthusiastically to the news of the initiative.

ERO delivered a 180,000 gsf high school campus accommodating 1,400 students. We worked closely with the community to define parameters for functionality, flow, layout, sustainability, interconnectivity and appearance. The consensus was today’s students are digital learners and filter their world through computers. They share information. Our design provided more than 40 classrooms, a learning commons, cafeteria, a gymnasium and a courtyard; here any similarities to a typical campus stop.

ERO’s design strategies support project-based learning and the STEM, healthcare, business and humanities curricula. All learning pedagogies are supported by ubiquitous, advanced technology. The classroom layout, utilities and research/lab facilities encourage students to take the lead in learning with teachers facilitating. At the center of the campus is an intimate courtyard making it a perfect place for social interacting, group learning or quiet reflection. The school looks and feels like a college campus intended to inspire dedication to college-readiness.

The Cano 9th Grade Academy was built on a vacant site. We took the opportunity to layout the facility with excellent orientation, optimum corridor flow and multi-purpose spaces. The design is so flexible that it serves well as a prototype. Corridors are open-ended and community rooms such as the cafeteria and gymnasium are located on exterior walls for easy expansion. Pragmatic green measures were included to keep operational costs as low as possible. The community expressed that the program is working very well.

We are transforming public education in Texas and for the rest of the nation. ERO's campus design represents a strong foundation and a sense of being valued so our incoming freshmen will receive a first year of high school that will prepare them for high school and future successes.

Dr. Art Cavasos

Superintendent of Schools, Harlingen CISD
Next Project

Berta S. Palacios Elementary School


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