SISD celebrates groundbreaking of new Student Activity Complex

Category: Architecture

Written By: Valerie Edgren

Date: May 3, 2022

SISD celebrates groundbreaking of new Student Activity Complex cover image

Socorro Independent School District, administrators, and students celebrated the groundbreaking of a second Student Activity Complex (SAC II) in El Paso. SAC II is part of Socorro ISD’s 2017 School Bond.

SISD Superintendent Nate Carman, Ed.D. called the new student activity complex a highly anticipated project for Socorro ISD.

“It is being beautifully designed,” he said.

SAC II will allow the school district to host multiple sporting events simultaneously. This facility will also allow flexibility for non-athletic events, such as concerts and festivals. Parkhill is serving as the associate architect to HKS Architects and providing civil engineering and landscape architecture design for the site.

The new facility will have conference rooms for fine arts, a 6,500-seat sports arena bowl, concession areas, locker rooms, the district building, and community rooms.

"Students and the entire community are seeing benefits of the bond program," said J.J. Calderon, SISD Athletic Director. "The projects including the highly anticipated new student activities complex are bringing needed improvements to our facility and new construction to facilitate the growth in our school district."

Hector De Santiago, AIA, leads the team for Parkhill, the associate architect to HKS on the project. He said one of the driving features of the design was to make it flexible. SAC II differs from the existing complex in that it will also house special events such as concerts, movies, and spaces for large banquets or festivals.

"This is going to be a jewel for the community with all the types of activities you can have here," Hector said. "You can have regional meets and statewide competitions. As far as the acoustics and the sound system that was designed for this, it's definitely going to make an impact on the community as far as the quality of the space delivered with this project."

Another unique part of the project is the corridor space, which was made into a gallery at the district building.

"They have a lot of arts programs that are very high caliber and this will give them the opportunity to showcase the artwork,” Hector said.

Parkhill is also providing civil engineering design for all on-site improvements and landscape architecture.

“For this particular project, there was quite a bit of civil engineering,” said Jacob Hernandez, PE. “Due to the size of the facility and the way the topography of the site lies, there's a lot of drainage consideration."

Parkhill also designed the turf systems with underground drainage for runoff that leads to a retention pond.

The stadium, expected to be completed by 2024, will accommodate activities involving band, football, soccer, and the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, said Maribel Macias, SISD Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services. With about half a dozen schools in SISD, this will positively impact event scheduling, school instruction time, and studies.

“It’s going to be amazing," she said. We’ll be able to do training in our new administrative buildings, have our fine arts administrative buildings, our Career and Technical Education program will have the availability of storing items, and we can continue to work together to meet the needs of our district and bring the community together.”