An increasing student poplation and an aging facility meant big changes for Giddings Independent School District. The project included a new 170,000-sq-ft high school, conversion of the existing 90,000-sq-ft high school into an intermediate facility and new parking and site infrastructure.

Photo:Gaeke Construction

The new high school includes two, two-story classroom wings; two gymnasiums; computer and science labs; a performing arts and athletic training area; a library and student lounges.

The contemporary architectural design incorporates glass, stone, brick and metal into a collage of colors and textures that creates a unique working and learning environment.

One design element is Buffalo Alley, an open gathering space between the two classrooms wings. The east-facing wall is a 30-ft-tall glass curtain wall with interspaced yellow glass panes. As the sun rises, the yellow glass is reflected on the floor. Yellow squares move across the floor as the morning progresses, much like a sundial.

The construction on the new building was accomplished in 15 months. Because the existing high school was still in service while the new construction was under way, the conversion of the existing building into the new middle school had to be completed in about eight weeks during the summer break.

Gaeke Construction served as the construction manager, and coordinated closely with the architect and owner to maintain the rigorous schedule while adding project enhancements dictated by the owner that resulted in more than $1 million in construction-related savings.

As a community centerpiece, the school was designed to meet the needs of the entire community. It is open for community use when school is not in session, providing a venue for events such as town hall meetings and theater productions.

Key Players

Submitted by: Gaeke Construction Co. Inc.
Developer/owner: Giddings Independent School District, Giddings, Texas
Construction manager: Gaeke Construction Company Inc., Giddings, Texas
Architect and structural engineer: SHW Group, Austin
Civil engineer: Harahan Pritchard Engineers, Austin
MEP engineer: HCE Consulting Engineers, Round Rock, Texas