Portions of the original Rockdale High School were 50 years old and required replacement and extensive renovations. Original areas that required renovations included the band, which was demolished, and the cafeteria and administration areas which were converted into new classrooms. New additions totaling 86,366 square feet included a new competition gymnasium, administration area, science classrooms, band hall, and cafeteria, plus additional parking for students and staff.
This complex will serve approximately 700-800 students. The site posed a challenge, as the building areas were situated on a hill that sloped in three different directions and levels. The design concept placed the new main entrance at the apex of the street leading to the school. The street rises as it approaches the school and was reconfigured to turn at the point when it reached the school. This solution resulted in an elevated entrance, enhanced with landscaping and masonry retaining walls and with a grand octagonal and easily-identifiable rotunda building entrance.
The interior of this rotunda serves as the main commons area that all corridors flow from. The administration area is centrally located and adjacent to the rotunda. A split level classroom wing and the library are to the left of the rotunda and the administration and new gymnasium are to the right. The gymnasium is also split level, with seating at two levels and the gym floor at the lowest level. The new cafeteria is directly accessed off the center of the rotunda. All spaces have abundant natural daylight, including the gymnasium. A consistent use of architectural elements on the both the exterior and interior of the project tie the end result together.
The project delivery system utilized a Construction Manager at Risk for this project as well as other concurrent district projects. This delivery method was advantageous due to the complexity of the project and Rockdale ISD’s rural location.