ERO Architects

Stephen F. Austin High School Replacement and Modernization

Houston ISD
  • Client

    Houston ISD

  • Budget


  • City


  • Sq. Ft.



Houston ISD is in Phase IV of its 2012 Bond Program and ERO Architects is modernizing the Stephen F. Austin High School for 2,224 students. The original 1936 building is the second oldest high school structure in Houston. To accomplish this, the auditorium, pool, JROTC and fieldhouse buildings will be re-purposed. All other structures will be demolished to make room for 198,000 square feet of new classroom space.

Webber, LLC, has completed about 20% of the $55 million construction project that includes systems ERO selected based on quality, cost, life cycle costs, durability, maintenance, performance, constructability and aesthetics. The construction is expected to be completed on-budget and on-time in February 2020, despite located in a dense urban environment.

The exterior wall system consists primarily of concrete tilt-walls with a thin brick veneer, clad in metal panels, textured and painted. The use of tilt-wall construction manages cost and reduces construction time. Glazing of the building’s north and south elevations maximizes the potential for natural lighting. Solar shading minimizes direct solar loads and reduces glare. Innovative strategies optimize use of renovated spaces such as the pool that doubles for underwater welding and simulated ship channel piloting training.

Guiding principles for modernizing this legacy education facility are tradition, integrity, honor, excellence, collaboration, safety and flexibility for the benefit of the community and students. The students, parents, faculty and staff collaboratively generated teaching and learning strategies that support critical thinking, achievements, collaboration, ethical behavior and respect for intercultural diversity.

All spaces are flexible for collaboration between teacher and student, student to student, teacher to teacher, and teacher to parent, all to facilitate a culture of high achievement and quality communication skills. The building interiors have been designed to ‘future-enable’ building configurations which is achieved by minimizing the number of columns and internal load-bearing walls.

“I feel that peoples’ voices were heard.” “This really is about our students. We’re providing them with a different type of learning environment,”

Rosario Cardona

Neighborhood Representative and Austin High Teacher
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