Forsan Elementary Earns TASA TASB Star of Distinction

Category: Architecture

Written By: Travis Cram

Date: November 9, 2016

The Texas Association of School Administrators and Texas Association of School Boards recently awarded the new Forsan Elementary School with a Star of Distinction for Sustainability at its annual Exhibit of School Architecture. 

The exhibit showcases new and renovated Texas schools and celebrates excellence in the planning and design of the learning environment. TASA/TASB uses an independent panel of judges — made up of school administrators, school board members, and architects — to select the Stars of Distinction for K-12 school projects across the state. This marked the 13th TASA/TASB Award for Parkhill in the last eight years. 

Parkhill designed the 74,000 square-foot school with large classroom windows, clerestory windows, and skylights — all provided to maximize daylighting and save energy. LED light fixtures were selected to reduce maintenance and increase the energy efficiency of the facility. The gym bleachers are adjustable for larger events, and when paired with a portable stage, create a space for performances and community gatherings. The flexibility of these spaces reduced the building footprint, resulting in fewer construction materials used and a reduced impact on natural resources. 

“The natural light from the windows was particularly important to the teachers in the planning process because of research linking it to increased student performance and engagement,” said Allan Wolf, Parkhill Principal. 

The skylights in the school are featured in the multi-purpose instructional areas at the center of each cluster of classrooms. Project, play, performance, and design-based learning are featured in these spaces and pair naturally with the district’s accelerated reading program. These areas also provide space to host high school students and parent volunteers to read individually with small groups of students. 

“The whole school provides a real sense of community for our students, parents, and citizens,” said Randy Johnson, Forsan ISD Superintendent. 



Forsan Elementary Earns TASA TASB Star of Distinction cover image
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Parkhill designed the 74,000-square-foot school with large classroom windows, clerestory windows and skylights to maximize daylighting and save energy