The Manor (Texas) school district is putting final touches on a new secondary school building.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that the The 215,000-square foot, 1,200-student campus, Manor Senior High School, will open with 900 juniors and seniors in August.
The new campus to be home base for juniors and seniors, and the existing Manor High School—about four miles away—will be primarily for freshmen and sophomores.
The two-campus high school is also an attempt to better engage students. It has been designed to have the look and feel of a small college campus: open and collaborative work spaces, large windows and natural light, and charging stations for cell phones and laptops.
The $48 million campus is being built with 2014 bond money, initially earmarked for renovations to the existing Manor High School. Instead, the district put that money toward new space.
“Splitting those students out in the smaller learning environments, I think we’re going to see a better return on investment,” says Manor Superintendent Royce Avery. “When teachers have more opportunity to engage smaller groups of kids, it has a more profound effect of what kids are giving them and what they are giving the kids.”
The 9,100-student Manor district, situated in suburban Austin, is expected to grow by another 2,600 students in the next five years. The existing Manor High is at capacity with 1,762 students.
The Manor Senior High campus largely will offer upperclassmen core classes. But upperclassmen taking career and technical education courses at the original campus, as well as Manor High students taking advanced level courses, will be bused back and forth between the two schools.
The new campus will feature a Makerspace, with some hardbound books like a traditional library, but also collaborative work spaces and high-tech tools like a 3-D printer; a technology room where students can borrow laptops or tablets; small conference rooms similar those found in college libraries; a commercial kitchen with the feel of a restaurant for culinary arts students; and a student-run coffee bar.
VIDEO—Tour of new facility: