Spring Branch Elementary School is designed for students in Pre-Kindergarten through the fifth grade. The facility contains 32 regular classrooms and additional resource, special education and fine arts classrooms for a total building capacity of about 610 students.
The building is located on the oldest existing parcel of Spring Branch ISD (SBISD) property. It is located at the intersection of Long Point Rd. and Campbell Rd. The site includes three (3) new softball fields and batting cages. In addition to the new elementary school, IBI Group also designed a new facility for the Spring Branch Memorial Sports Association (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 in use by the school.
The school’s building plan includes six (6) classroom pods. Pre-K classrooms have their own classroom wing that is directly adjacent to the cafeteria and a Pre-K/K playground. Kindergarten through fifth grade have pods each including five (5) classrooms. The pods were purposefully radiated to allow for green areas between each, with the greenspaces to be used for butterfly gardens, play areas, etc. 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 (2) serving lines. Special education spaces include but are not limited to three (3) resource classrooms, a speech therapy room and an adaptive behavior classroom. There are two (2) music classrooms and an art room which includes a kiln.
The history of this site as home to the first school in SBISD was not forgotten throughout the design of this project. The 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 (5) other terrazzo tile seals mark the different hallway intersections. These seals include an illustration of the originally defined SBISD, a layout of the original school site, its development into the site as it is today and three (3) images and messages illustrating pillars of character for Spring Branch Elementary School.