The architectural design for Suchma Elementary School represents the third school designed by IBI Group in the evolution of the “flex school” prototype in Conroe ISD. This means the District can modify the plan to function as an elementary, intermediate and, with some additions, a middle school. Suchma Elementary School is a 125,000 SF facility designed to ultimately house 1,000 students.
The constrained site for this project required a more compact building footprint; this resulted in the District’s decision to utilize a two-story floor plan and regain some of the green spaces on the site that was reduced due to automobile stacking requirements as required by code.
Planning for Conroe ISD’s safety and security requirements was paramount for the new design. The building is oriented for maximum daylighting and views, and simultaneously directs all visitors through a centralized main entry where a security vestibule controls access to the building. The floor plan provides easy identification and wayfinding throughout the school while assuring good observation and oversight of visitors into the building.
Academic spaces are designed for age-based usage and to support student-centered learning. Classrooms for younger students are located on the first floor with core academic spaces for third and fourth graders on the second floor. Classrooms are configured to accommodate a variety of daily activities and gathering places are arranged strategically throughout the school. Hallways were designed to accommodate tables for small group learning.
This facility meets the very rigorous requirements of Conroe ISD Education Design Standards including all masonry walls, durable sustainable finishes and highly efficient systems. It also satisfies the desire for design parity within the District. The organization, classroom layout, materials, systems and program spaces were reviewed and revised to meet the latest curriculum and technology standards.