In May 2008, the citizens of Dallas, TX, approved a $1.35 billion bond program designed to reshape the school district through the completion of 61 separate projects, replacing several dated facilities and repurposing numerous others with the latest technologies and sustainable features.
Aimed specifically at overcoming crowding and providing Dallas students with the opportunity to learn in state-of-the-art environments, the project entailed the phased launch of 14 new elementary, middle, and high schools located in communities across the city.
Among the many efforts included in this initiative was the building of the new George Herbert Walker Bush Elementary School, which officially opened in Addison, TX, in August 2011, and the William Hardin Adamson High School replacement project, which was slated for completion by the summer of 2012.
“The planning was extensive for each of the school bond projects and included designs that were not only innovative but also enduring and aesthetically pleasing,” said Karl Prinz of WRA Architects in Dallas, the project manager for George H.W. Bush Elementary School. “As a result, all the materials were chosen for their ability to comfortably blend into the facility’s modern design while withstanding the daily use of elementary school students.”
Building a Better Learning Environment
Designed as an extension of the existing school system and to accommodate an overflow of students from the surrounding area, the 94,000-square-foot Bush Elementary School now serves the learning needs of approximately 825 pre-K through 5th grade students with 35 classrooms, a media center, computer labs, a gymnasium, and features such as a Discovery Wall containing a collage of images highlighting various topics.
Among the many products selected specifically to meet these needs was the broad-based installation of bathroom partitions from Scranton Products, which, according to Prinz, were among the products preferred by Dallas ISD’s maintenance department. Available in an assortment of colors and styles, Dallas’ partition of choice was the Hiny Hiders Paisley Color and EX texture, a black bespectacled with white dots with a ridged texture.
“A textured finish was desired by the district because they noticed it reduced vandalism,” Prinz said.
More Than Just a Stylish Choice
In addition to their appealing look and feel, the Scranton Products partitions met numerous other criteria cited by the city for its new school bathrooms. This included absorbing all forms of punishment that thousands of students, teachers, and parents could deliver every day for the foreseeable future. These benefits include the ability to never rust or delaminate as well as resist dents, scratches, graffiti, corrosion, mildew, and moisture.
They’re also fully power washable, and they can be firmly installed in three configurations: floor mounted overhead-braced, ceiling-hung, or floor-to-ceiling.
Durable Materials with Added Benefits
Jason Mellard, who served as the architect on the $49 million Adamson High School replacement effort, concurs with this assessment. As an inner city school, Adamson has the capacity to meet the learning needs of 1,300 students in grades 9 through 12.
In addition, the 223,496-square-foot facility was constructed to provide the latest amenities, including eight science labs, 11 career education classrooms, ball fields, tennis courts, and numerous environmentally friendly features, such as a geothermal heating/air conditioning system, a heat-absorbing coolroof, and facilities for recycling.
“Durability was certainly an important consideration when we planned this project,” Mellard explained. “It really must be able to stand up to just about anything while constantly dealing with relentless wear and tear.
“That’s why the Scranton Products partitions were chosen by the district for installation throughout the school system. They are exceptionally tough and, with the proper support, are virtually impossible to rip from the floors. Plus they just look nice. Their black finish with textured dots provided an attractive complement to our overall design and color scheme.”