WRA Architects Designs New Additions & Renovations for Dallas ISD Hillcrest High School

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Hillcrest High School is in need of updates to help students compete in the 21st century. WRA Architects, working through the 2015 Dallas ISD Bond program, have designed 3 major additions to Hillcrest High School to help accomplish this goal.

Hillcrest High School Entry

We have a long history working with Dallas ISD and their focus on quality and student security always influences WRA’s architecture -Jeff Miller, AIA

Hillcrest High School Addition Video: https://youtu.be/IEdmEEGVLMs

Hillcrest High School is a historic and highly respected institution in the Dallas Independent School District. Opened in the mid 1930’s as Vickery Meadows High School, this Dallas icon has been in continuous operation for eighty years. In 1951, the modest wood frame building was expanded with a large concrete frame addition and the name changed to Hillcrest High School as it became an anchor in the developing Preston Hollow neighborhood of north Dallas. Hillcrest alumni have become leaders in all walks of life, many of them still calling Dallas their home. Since then, few changes have been made to the campus.

The Dallas Independent School District’s 2015 bond program will include removal of the 1930’s wood frame structure from the center of the campus. Three major additions will be constructed to provide much needed upgrades to student security, expansion of the core food service and athletic facilities, classrooms and technology to insure Hillcrest students will have the resources to lead through the 21st century.

The addition facing Aberdeen Avenue on the south side of the site will be the new location for the school’s main entrance, adjacent to existing visitor parking. The new reception area is located to receive visitors and have clear vision of the outside and any person who approaches the school. The entry vestibule will be secured during school hours requiring all who enter to check-in at the main office and be badged before entry. The Hillcrest High School alumni association assisted the architect in designing a graphic timeline which will be located in the main entry corridor.

The Hillcrest Road addition on the west side of the site will primarily house new classrooms and classroom support spaces. The two-story addition will centralize the majority of the academic areas in the building and allow for removal of all the portable classrooms from the site. Five light wells in the new classroom addition will bring natural light into all new and existing interior classrooms. The base of the double volume light wells is designed to be student collaboration space, giving the campus a collegiate feel.

The new locker facility and competition gymnasium addition will be located facing Lakehurst Avenue on the north side of the campus. Taking advantage of the slope of the site, the locker room is designed to be beneath the gymnasium and lobby above. This minimizes the footprint of the building and provides direct access from the locker room to the track and field. Once the portable classrooms have been removed, the area will be used for additional parking and the construction of a legitimate loading dock for the kitchen and the school.

The center of the campus, which will be open space following the removal of the old competition gym, will be converted into a large, enclosed courtyard. Designed as a student and faculty amenity, the new courtyard will expand the concepts of the original smaller courtyard created and maintained with funds donated by the Park Cities Rotary Club. This outdoor space will be used for circulation, small group learning and informal gathering.

Thanks to the Dallas ISD 2015 Bond Program, Hillcrest High School will begin a new chapter, well-equipped to serve its students through the 21st century.

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Michael Holmberg
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WRA Architects, Inc.
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