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Jose "Joe" May Elementary School

Dallas, TX

The design creates a presence for the school through its architectural composition, while relating to the adjacent Medrano Middle School in scale, context, and visual impact, reinforcing the ‘campus’ concept desired by DISD.  The new school’s design and building siting exploit the program’s green areas and playgrounds incorporating the existing DISD ball fields, making them available for use by the Elementary School – grouping of these outdoor amenities creates contiguous open green space the community can share and utilize.  The school’s large volume public spaces are clustered together anchoring the building to the site and rooting it in place in close proximity to the outdoor areas, allowing easy access.  A single main circulation spine connects the classroom wing restricting after hour access to the educational areas; sited towards the rear of the site, the concept aligns the axis of the auditorium, gymnasium, administration, and other “public” functions on axis with the existing middle school across Brockbank, the main thoroughfare.  Prominent pedestrian access in this neighborhood is embraced and further encouraged with the inclusion of a landscaped entry plaza incorporating landscaping, outdoor shade and seating, punctuated by an all- glass entry.

The school is child-centered, inviting, and provides a healthy environment which will instill pride in the students, staff, parents and community