Spring Branch Elementary School is designed for students in Pre-kindergarten through 5th grade. It contains 32 regular classrooms and additional resource, special education and fine arts classrooms for a total building capacity of about 610 students.
The new building is located on the oldest existing parcel of Spring Branch ISD property. It is located at the intersection of Long Point Rd. and Campbell Rd. Parking for staff, visitors and buses will be provided. Playground areas, three soccer fields, a walking/running track and covered play area will be provided. The site will also include three new softball fields and batting cages. In addition to the new elementary school, IBI Group has also designed a new facility for Spring Branch Memorial Sports Associations (SBMSA), which will also be constructed on the new site. SBMSA’s building will consist of a meeting room, concession area and restrooms. SBMSA will also utilize the site’s soccer and softball fields for additional evening and weekend events for the community. A conscious effort was made to preserve many of the large beautiful oak trees on the site, and the original SPARK will also remain for use by the new Spring Branch Elementary.
The school’s building plan includes six classroom pods. Pre-K classrooms have their own classroom “wing” that is directly adjacent to the cafeteria and a Pre-K/K playground. The Kindergarten through 5th grade pods each have five classrooms. The pods were purposefully radiated to allow for green areas between each, with the green spaces to be used for butterfly gardens, play areas, etc. Each and every classroom is set up for computer and ACTIVboards as tools for teachers and students. The classroom pods are situated on the east side of the school and are physically separated from the “noisier” fine arts areas, such as gym, music, art and the cafeteria. The library and media center are centrally located at the heart of the school and are located on the main axis from the lobby. The administration area is located directly inside the main entrance of the school, allowing for better safety and security for students, staff and visitors. The cafeteria has two serving lines. Special education spaces include but are not limited to three resource classrooms, a speech therapy room, and an adaptive behavior classroom. There are two music classrooms and an art room which includes a kiln.
The history of this site as home to the first school in Spring Branch ISD was not forgotten throughout the design of this project. The new school’s main entry is clearly identified with a striking clock tower, which is a reflection of a clock tower at one of the original campus buildings. Upon entering the school, students and staff are reintroduced to the Bears, with a mascot seal of a bear placed directly inside the main entry. The corridor directly outside of the administration area illustrates, with terrazzo detailing, a timeline along Buffalo Bayou of the movement of settlers from central Houston out to the Spring Branch area. Five other terrazzo tile “seals” mark the different hallway intersections. These seals include: an illustration of the originally defined Spring Branch ISD, a layout of the original school site and its development into the site as it is today, and three images and messages illustrating pillars of character for Spring Branch Elementary.