Because Daniel Ortiz, Jr. Middle School is situated on a site less than one mile from Hobby Airport, IBI Group chose a design concept that would equate the new school with a transportation facility. The obvious swept-wing floor plan was inspired by jet aircraft, while the exterior reflects typical aviation-related architecture.
The front entry control tower guides students, staff and visitors to the main entrance, while the rotunda, library and administration areas serve as the schools’ cockpit. The jet aircraft design allows for public and elective spaces to be located on the outside of this flying wedge. The interior of the shape is reserved for academic spaces, allowing for a more private setting and away from the busy Telephone Road. Each of the three grade levels (6-8) in the academic wings consist of three houses. These houses include four classrooms, one science lab/prep room and a multi-purpose space. Each large multi-purpose space defines its house, while the classrooms act as boarding gates.
This 21-acre site, once covered by dilapidated structures, seedy motels, apartments and light industrial buildings, has been transformed into a state-of-the-art middle school that is uniquely tied to its community.