RDLR designed North Houston Early College High School (NHECHS) for high achieving students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. The school provides the opportunity to earn an associate degree at Houston Community College (HCC) with high school diplomas.
The new facility provides motivated students with an interactive learning environment. Students can learn in multiple ways and in varied spaces ranging from flexible classrooms, to outdoor classrooms, and common areas. Core academic spaces are located on the second and third floors of the building. Learning centers were arranged around a series of commons and niches providing much needed impromptu casual teaching/learning environments. Attention was given to creating learning centers with vision glass and natural light. Additionally, administrative offices and teacher workrooms are centrally located to encourage teacher, administration, and student interaction. Moveable walls allow faculty to combine learning centers for project-based learning.
The heart of the building is the multi-purpose commons located on the ground floor. This space is envisioned as a café style environment adjacent to the food service facility. Adjacent to the multi-purpose commons is the multi-purpose room for college counseling.
The school is designed to provide a unique and distinctive character while remaining compatible and sympathetic to HCC’s campus standards.
The project was designed for LEED Silver certification with an emphasis on energy conservation and natural light.