Angela Gerusa Leal Elementary
Square Footage: 71,000 sq.ft
Location: Brownsville, Texas
Grade Level: Pre-K thru 5th
Architect in Charge: Hector Garcia
This would be the last of a series of major school project’s by our firm with San Benito C.I.S.D.. The client expressed certain special requirements early in the schematic phase: 1) the building had to have a metal roof; 2) it needed a grand entrance; 3) the design needed to have an emphasis on science. With a very tight budget, and a demand for a high performance building, a metal roof gave way to metal clad exterior walls with which highly reflective surfaces help resist the sun. This is accompanied by white limestone block walls, of which varied textures reveal themselves throughout the day as the sun changes position. The grand entrance was created with a singular grand geometry. Instead of achieving grandeur through ornamentation, the great weight and megalithic appearance greets the on comer into high spaces that flow into the main corridor. This corridor seeks to provoke the child's imagination with a space theme. The floor diagrams our solar system with each planets relationship to the sun. The facts of each planet are given on the wall next to it. On the east wall is a mural based on our planet earth looks to the stars. The west wall is adorned with each constellation of the Zodiac. In addition to the main corridor our emphasis on science in carried out with an outdoor learning lab as part of the science lab. Here the student will be observing the different insects in the butterfly garden, and even learn to grow their on crops. We also incorporated important green features like operable day-lighting, and rain water catchment.