While a partner at Garza/Bomberger & Associates, Jesse Garza led the design of the 342,000-square-foot Earl Warren High School for San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District.
Built on a heavily wooded 77-acre site that slopes considerably in some areas, the project was thoughtfully planned to include the school buildings along with visitor and student parking, tennis courts, and football and baseball fields. The campus includes instructional spaces for general education, fine arts, science, career education technology, and physical education, as well as a library, auditorium, and athletic facilities.
The building, which serves 2,400 students, was designed to reflect NISD’s role as one of the state’s largest and most respected school districts. The entrance to the three-story main building projects stability, creativity, permanence, and dignity while establishing a clear sense of arrival. Placing the school’s library and media center over the entrance helps to define the structure and reinforce the district’s focus on technological infrastructure that enriches learning.
The design of Earl Warren High School reflects Northside Independent School District’s role as one of the state’s largest and most respected districts.
The entrance’s expressed structural frame creates hierarchy and diffuses natural light with its extensive use of glass. The library and media center above have an arched metal roof design, exposed structural bowed trusses, and glass walls that provide natural lighting and panoramic views of the campus.
The contiguous building layout includes administration offices located directly off the main entrance, leading to a commons area and mall corridor. The commons area connects an open dining area that provides students with varied dining options in a food-court format.
The auditorium and fine arts areas are located on one end of the first level, with athletics and physical education facilities – including two gymnasiums – at the opposite end. Additional support functions are also located on this level, while the upper two levels include classrooms for all educational programs.
The campus’s exterior materials reflect stability and permanence and help maintain a human scale. Fractured face masonry at the first level establishes the base of the three-story building, while the upper floors utilize a plaster finish that conveys the similar functions of those levels and controls the building’s scale.