Austin ISD
T.A. Brown Elementary

2 newly built elementary schools open in Austin, Texas

Jan. 9, 2020
The modernized T.A. Brown and Menchaca schools are the first major projects completed under the district's $1.1 billion bond program.

The Austin (Texas) district is having ribbon-cutting ceremonies this week to commemorate the opening of two newly constructed elementary schools.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that the openings of T.A. Brown and Menchaca elementary schools are the first major projects to be completed under the district’s $1.1 billion bond program approved in 2017.

The district’s 25-year facility master plan calls for the modernization of nearly 130 campuses.

The modernized buildings have high ceilings, large windows state-of-the-art technology, flexible furniture and numerous views of the outdoors.

The district’s vision for the future is to provide spaces that accommodate more hands-on learning, group discussions and presentations, rather than traditional-style lectures.

Features of the new schools include retractable walls between classrooms so teachers can collaborate or teach across grade levels. The campuses also have plenty of natural lighting. Also seen in each new school site are learning studios (a new type of classroom), makerspaces, and small group rooms.

Each school also is outfitted with gender-neutral bathrooms, with doors instead of stalls.

“Our students are much more creative and innovative and dynamic than we truly understand and that we, in the school system, give them the space to be,” says Eliza Loyola, Menchaca principal. “So having space here to work in collaborative groups, small groups, cooperative groups, flexible groups allows for that.”

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