Austin, Texas — A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Newton Collins Elementary School took place Saturday, August 6, at the site of the future campus on Colton Bluff-Springs Road. Del Valle ISD’s ninth elementary school is expected to be completed next summer in time for the 2017-2018 school year.
Designed by O’Connell Robertson, the 99,000 SF, Newton Collins Elementary School will have an 800-student classroom capacity, with a core (cafeteria, gym, and library) capacity of 1,000 students. The new school will be a flexible and adaptable 21st century learning environment, with three classroom “neighborhoods” surrounding a central library that is the heart of the campus. The neighborhoods will be organized by grade level with classrooms mostly along the exterior walls and an assortment of common spaces distributed around the shared core interior space to support collaboration and project-based learning. Science areas and computer stations are integrated into these commons areas with transparency into the classrooms, allowing an extension of the learning environment outside the classroom.
The school was named for Newton Isaac Collins, Sr., a freed slave who purchased land in the area more than 125 years ago and made many contributions to the community, including establishing a school. Dozens of family members attended the groundbreaking and have remained in the area for generations, carrying on Newton’s legacy of education and community service.
“This school will honor the rich history of the Collins family and Del Valle ISD’s mission as a ‘fearless educational leader that binds a growing and progressive community’,” said Amy Jones, O’Connell Robertson’s president. “We are excited to be working with DVISD and the rest of the design and construction team to set a new standard for collaborative success on this project.”
O’Connell Robertson provided master planning, architecture, MEP engineering and interior design services for the school project. Bartlett Cocke is the construction manager-at-risk. Other design team members are: HPE Engineering/Jamison Civil Engineering – civil engineering; Datum Engineers – structural engineering; Combs Consulting Group – data/communications/security; and Coleman & Associates – landscape architecture.