Pleasanton Elementary School
A state-of-the-art learning facility for a small Texas town
The design for Pleasanton Elementary School, located about 35 miles south of San Antonio, has won numerous awards for its environmental sensitivity and innovative learning environments. Opened in 2017, on time and under budget, the campus was developed through an extensive community engagement process, which included the formation of a 40-member committee including parents, community leaders and business owners, who explored every element of the school’s layout, operation and educational goals.
The campus includes STEM labs, computer labs and a variety of collaborative spaces, including music and drama rooms, and reflective learning spaces throughout the learning villages. The focus is on bright and open environments, with flexible spaces, grade levels grouped into learning hubs and a strong connection to the outdoors. Preservation of the mature oak trees on the site was a priority, as LPA landscape designers worked with the community and an arborist to evaluate the site and develop a plan to save existing trees.
The design incorporates the outdoors at every opportunity, including teaching areas and an “art courtyard” in the space between buildings. Outdoor benches allow multiple classes to gather for school events.
“The students appreciate this environment and their behavior and performance has shown marked improvement,” PISD Superintendent Dr. Matthew Mann said after the school opened. “I truly believe this investment in the school facilities will continue be a catalyst not only for academic improvement, but a larger positive community impact.”
The project earned an Honor Award from the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the first such award given to a K-12 campus. It was also honored with a Citation award from the San Antonio chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2018, and the 2019 Association for Learning Environments Southern Region Summit Award for Planning and Design, the group’s highest award—recognition that creative and innovative design is possible within the budget constraints of a K-12 project.