Garza Architects (in association with Nextgen Architects) worked with the Northside Independent School District to create Joey Tomlinson Elementary School to support the expanding student population of the Davis Ranch subdivision, a rapidly growing community in Northwest San Antonio.
The school includes classrooms, fine arts facilities, a library, STEM areas, art rooms, space for child nutrition programs, physical education facilities, playgrounds, and playfields.
Joey Tomlinson Elementary School explores new avenues for creating a healthy learning environment where students have the security and safety to reach their full potential.
We designed the school, which will support 800 students from pre-kindergarten through 5th grade, as a prototype facility that allows NISD to explore new concepts for safety and security. One of the most significant of these features is a security lobby that provides a secure entrance and control point while also creating a strong entryway feature and establishing a clear building identity.
Outside of the building, the exterior covered walkways for student drop-off and pick-up are designed to allow for maximum visibility from the interior administration area to the vehicular traffic outside. We further increased the safety of the facility by minimizing the size of the supporting columns and placing them back from the roadway. The covered walkway structure also contributes to the maintenance of a safe and controlled environment by using color and wayfinding features to guide student queuing and circulation.
Additional security features we designed into this prototype facility include controlled entry points, video monitoring, secured perimeter boundaries, and floor plans and materials that increase visibility between the building’s interior and exterior.
To help encourage an environment that supports learning and fosters student success, the building’s exterior materials enhance the feeling of safety by reflecting stability and permanence, controlling scale, and presenting opportunities for inquiry by students.
The school is also on the leading edge for sustainable design. We designed and specified all building materials and systems using sustainability best practices from the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS). This includes adhering to CHPS recommendations for integration and innovation, indoor environmental quality, energy, water, site elements, and materials and waste management.