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Walnut Hill PK-8 Leadership Academy, Dallas ISD

Walnut Hill_exterior courtyard

Project Stats


Dallas ISD


171,874 SF






Interior Design

A new educational model for the district

In 2018, a tornado damaged Walnut Hill International Leadership Academy – an elementary school in Dallas ISD. The district opted to rebuild the school and at the same time, restructure its educational model to create a STEM- focused campus for 800 pre-kindergartners to eighth-grade students. HED, Architect of Record, and Corgan, Associate Architect, worked as a team to create the new Walnut Hill International Leadership Academy as a two-story campus designed around educational curriculum inclusive of amenities such as an outdoor classroom, a soccer playfield and two playgrounds. Infrastructure, traffic flow, and pedestrian circulation are focused on the safety and security of students of all grade levels.

Walnut Hill_front entry

A forward-thinking, transformative learning environment

The design allows for the separation of elementary and middle school students with connectivity to shared and multi-purpose spaces such as the library, cafeteria, and gym. Supporting the small classroom model and close connection with teachers, the forward-thinking design provides collaborative spaces and flexible classrooms creating an interactive atmosphere. The school encourages student expression through leadership-specific enrichment programs, dual immersion English-Spanish learning, a gifted and talented curriculum, and other academic programs.

Walnut Hill_maker space

Additional science labs for both elementary students and middle school students support the campus curriculum. As a center point for the school, an outdoor learning center with a secure courtyard connects the interior spaces for access to academic wings, art classrooms, and dining spaces to encourage connection.

Walnut Hill_hallway

Designed for connection and interaction

The 21st century learning library connects the two main spines of the building on both levels. The addition provides a secondary entry for athletics, creating a safe and accessible environment and a new face for the main entry. Abundant glazing and clear sightlines see through to interior spaces, creating open, healthy, and inviting spaces for students and teachers to learn from one another. Celebrating diversity and inclusion, the academy brings together students from diverse backgrounds and grade levels to create a welcoming community on a unified campus.

Walnut Hill_Library

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