Satterfield & Pontikes Construction completed the $29-million Ann Richards Middle School for the Dallas Independent School District on a 21.6-acre site.

Photo by Michael Lyons
Ann Richards Middle School.
Photo by Michael Lyons
Ann Richards Middle School.

Working from January 2011 to June 2012, the firm constructed the 184,844-sq-ft school, which is designed for 1,250 students in grades six through eight. Also included are baseball, softball and football fields, tennis courts and space for a future running track.

Building information modeling "was a terrific tool to assist us in showing that our entire team understood what was going to happen where and when, so that we could be as efficient as possible," says John Marshall, vice president of S&P.

Sustainable schools are designed and built according to a code of environmental standards developed by the Texas Collaborative for High Performance Schools (TX-CHPS). As part of a 2008 bond funding program in Dallas, the district requires new projects to comply with these criteria and incorporate features that will reduce environmental impacts.

As a result, the architect's objective was to achieve maximum TX-CHPS credits through design rather than through costly additions. The sustainable design elements used in the school include strategic orientation of glazed classroom windows for natural lighting, windowless walls at west exposure and geothermal water source heat pump systems for heating and cooling.

"Schools are anything but simple these days. Our team was really challenged with designing a school that's not only serving its purpose today, but looking at the future—10, 20, even 30 years ahead—and saying, 'Will this still be designed to meet the needs of students and educators?'" Marshall says.

"So you need to put in place some of those things that may not be common today but will be absolutely expected tomorrow," he adds. "You have an ambitious design on the Ann Richards School, and the fortunate thing there is we had a fantastic working relationship with the design team and the owner. With all three of us as heavily involved as we were, success was really the only outcome."

Key Players

Owner: Dallas Independent School District, Dallas

General Contractor: Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Inc., Houston

Lead Design: PBK, Dallas

Civil: Site and Field Engineering, Dallas

Structural: Structural Engenuity Inc., Dallas

MEP: Rivera Engineering, Dallas

Submitted by Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Inc.