Upon recent completion of modernizations to their historic campus, Austin High School hosted their grand opening ceremony on Thursday, April 14, 2022. Located in the heart of the city, Austin High School is the oldest continuously operating public high school in the state of Texas, a remarkable example of the old downtown school.
“Austin ISD is proud to celebrate phase one of the modernization at Austin High School and I’m honored to be part of this exciting milestone,” said Chief Operations Officer Matias Segura. “As the oldest continuously operating public high school in the state of Texas, it was important that the design complimented the rich history of the campus while providing flexible spaces for our students and teachers. I want to thank the entire Austin High community for their support during this project.”
Throughout the duration of the project, it was crucial that the addition and renovations did not diminish the rich history of the campus, but rather, enhanced it. Cadence McShane Construction Company worked alongside architecture firm O’Connell Robertson to accomplish this through creative design methods and repurposing of materials.
“The Austin High School Phase 1 Modernization project was a major milestone to reinvent the urban school experience and pave the way for future students in achieving success.” Stated Jarrod Sterzinger, Principal Architect with O’Connell Robertson. “We were proud to be part of the team crafting and implementing a vision for this iconic campus integrating 21st century learning, downtown and Lady Bird Lake connections, and a new athletics front door.”
The updated campus incorporates a total of 65,000 square-feet of additions and renovations. This includes a full running track replacement, a new addition to support the dance and athletic programs, and a renovation for core academics including special education, life skills, fine arts, and career technical education. The south side of the building features a new glass stair tower built with high-end flooring and vinyl graphics displaying the Maroon spirit and provides radiant lighting as students and staff go between levels.
The addition for the athletic program consists of sports locker rooms and restroom areas, coaches’ offices, and two dance studios. To create a larger space for Austin High School’s new competition gym on the second floor, the exterior wall of the existing dance room was removed. The wood from the previous competition gym floor was repurposed and placed on the wall of a high-traffic hallway outside the new gym and outside the building, metal wall panels were installed around the exterior of the addition, displaying a harmonious blend of classic and modern architecture.
“Cadence McShane was proud to complete this project in a timely manner and deliver an extraordinary learning environment for Austin High School students,” commented Senior Project Manager, Scott German. “We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of history working on such a special building in the Austin community.”