Elementary - CTE/STEM/VPA/STEAM - Education

Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy at Ben Milam Elementary – Grand Prairie ISD

Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy at Ben Milam Elementary – Grand Prairie ISD

  • Size: 91,864 SF
  • Number of students: 900
  • Services provided: Full service planning, architecture and interior design
  • Project type: new construction
  • TASA/TASB Star of Distinction
The district chose to close two under-performing campuses and created a new high-performing STEM academy. This decision increased student success and provided a significant reduction in operation and maintenance costs. Each space is designed for multiple functions to minimize square footage and fully utilize of the facility. The conceptual design was inspired by science concepts of plate tectonics and geological strata, the mathematic golden ratio and exposed engineered technology and building systems. Open, collaborative environments allow students to experiment and learn in a safe environment. Integrated technology inside and outside of the building eliminates barriers and further opens the “classroom box.” The school’s mission of hands-on experiences that allow real-world insights were given form, creating a school that fosters creative inquirers and confident communicators. Sustainability is woven throughout the school’s curriculum and the building design as educational tools. Elements such as a raised-stream table illustrating erosion and flood effects, native planting and a nature trail foster these goals. An automated daylight harvesting system turns off fixtures when unused.