Anita Carmona-Harrison Elementary School Opens
Written By: Valerie Edgren
Date: September 8, 2021
Lubbock community members recently celebrated the ribbon cutting of the newest school in North Lubbock. Anita Carmona-Harrison Elementary School is named after a well-known educator who impacted countless students at Lubbock ISD.
The campus consolidates three schools into one and features several new innovations for North Lubbock schools. The school uses Agri-STEM, which focuses on agriculture with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math. Students enter the engineering design process to find real-life problems and develop possible prototypes or solutions, said Alma Cunningtubby, Anita Carmona-Harrison Elementary School principal.
“What we’re going to focus on here at Carmona-Harrison is student agency and having conversations with students at a very early age about what direction they want to take," Cunningtubby said.
The design also included daylight throughout the school which Parkhill Architect Michael Strain, AIA, said is an element of AgSTEM.
“Natural daylight was something that was really important to the client,” he said, “and something that was very important to us as well. If we can have the lights turned off, let's turn them off. Believe it or not, that’s a component of AgSTEM, utilizing nature and natural energies in the world for industrious reasons.”
Another focus for the school design is safety and security, as well as flexible spaces and furniture, which are unique features along with other innovative 21st-Century-Learning spaces.
“I really fell in love with the social staircase and the graphic organizers outside," Cunningtubby said, "and so I was really grateful that Parkhill decided to implement those."
As part of the innovative design, the social staircase could serve as a meeting place, a student stage, or an additional learning space.
Kathy Rollo, Superintendent of Lubbock ISD, appreciated Parkhill’s charette process that brought the buildings to fruition.
“Parkhill has designed some other buildings both in Texas and then around the nation – actually in the world – with this model," she said. "We had that opportunity with Parkhill to visit some of those schools in Texas, and we took groups of teachers with us from those three elementary schools. The teachers actually got to be a part of the design of this building. But they had some models that we were able to look at, so it was exciting to be able to see those and then have it come to fruition here in Lubbock.”