Through extensive planning workshops with district personnel and community members, Bay-IBI Group Architects developed a 536 student elementary and middle school for Galveston I.S.D., Crenshaw K-8 School. The unique Pre-K-8th grade school serves an isolated segment of the district, as it is located between the Gulf of Mexico and the Houston Ship Channel.
Due to the school’s close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, many planning and design decisions were made in response to the corrosive effects of the gulf environment: salt spray, wind-blown sand, and coastal wind load requirements.
The school is also designed to be utilized as a community center and hurricane shelter. The surrounding community has use of the facility’s library, gymnasium and cafetorium. The school is elevated above grade level by +/- 18′ to a finished floor level of 24′ mean sea level. The grade level was also improved and serves as covered parking.
The school is built on a restricted site, with only 8 of 33 useable acres due to protected wetlands. The wetlands have been developed for academic use in science classes. During construction, a cemetery of early settlers was found on the site. This area was preserved due to its historical relevance for the community.