SPRING, Texas — Spring Independent School District's new Carl Wunsche Sr. High School is the 2007 recipient of the James D. MacConnell Award, an award presented by the Council of Educational Facilities Planners International.
The award recognizes projects that use a comprehensive school planning process, including staff, student and community input, to produce a healthy, high-performing facility and enhance the learning environment for students.
Designed by SHW Group, of Houston , the high school is the result of a four-month visioning process that included school board members, district administrators, teachers, parents and students.
After working with the firm's education experts, the district chose an integrated approach for the design of the school and the curriculum. An on-campus career academy combines instruction in core subjects, such as English, math and science, with studies in several career fields to provide students with hands-on work experience. Career classes are held in designated learning pods that feature open-plan and glass-enclosed designs to allow students to observe each other's work and learning environments.
Students have access to three career pods, which focus on different fields: legal, business and child studies; technology; and medical and biological services. Each pod accommodates about 500 students.
An on-site childcare center, veterinary clinic, culinary kitchen and automotive garage offer students hands-on experience with childcare, veterinary services, culinary studies and automotive studies. The school also features a television studio with broadcast-quality cameras and production equipment, a state-certified courtroom and computer labs for graphic design, engineering, AutoCAD and other programming courses.