Van Raub Elementary School

Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas

The Boerne Independent School District in south-central Texas had very specific goals when it set about creating the new Van Raub Elementary School. Teachers and administrators were moving away from traditional classrooms in favor of more open, flexible spaces. They wanted to focus on team-based learning, in indoor and outdoor settings, where they could mix different ages and classes as instructional needs dictated.

LPA’s design for Boerne’s Fabra Elementary School, which opened in August 2016, served as a template for the 800-student, 42-classroom Van Raub campus. Opened in 2018, the two-story school is organized around a tiered courtyard that uses the site’s natural topography. Spaces are organized into “learning neighborhoods,” with an easy flow from interior rooms to collaborative hallway settings to the outdoors.

Hallways include spaces with smart boards for active, team-based learning, as well as areas for quiet, reflective study. Interior windows add to transparency and interactions. Outdoor areas with sinks are designed to encourage exploration into science and nature.

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