Pre-K Centers and Design Review

Client: Houston Independent School District (HISD)

Location: Houston, Texas


The Houston Independent School District (HISD) launched HISD Rebuild 2002, to provide 70,000 students with better environments for learning. Projects included both renovation of existing facilities and new construction. OTHON provided civil engineering on multiple projects including four Pre-K centers. While a prototype was designed to be used for the centers, site conditions varied dramatically, posing unique engineering challenges at each location.

In addition to site design for projects such as the Pre-K centers, OTHON provided design review services for the civil engineering of 16 schools as part of a management service contract to HISD. The 14 elementary and two middle schools were divided into three categories: (1) renovations; (2) renovation/expansions; and (3) replacement/relief. The middle schools included gymnasiums and athletic fields. Each phase of the review was documented to ensure compliance with local and state codes and design requirements, as well as HISD specifications.


OTHON's Scope

Gabriela Mistral Early Childhood Development Center (West District)

  • The 3.5-acre site needed to include not only the 40,437-sf center, but also access drives, parking, sidewalks, play areas, and utility infrastructure

Amanda Farias Early Childhood Development Center (North District)

  • Large, centuries-old live oak trees prompted OTHON to work closely with an arborist to develop the site in a way that would preserve the trees.  This included not only avoiding damage to the root system, but consideration of the future impacts of the root system on foundations and paving

Ninfa Laurenzo Early Childhood Development Center (East District)

  • The small, less than 1-acre, site required that the prototype be adapted to two stories in order to accommodate the 40,000-sf center and related infrastructure.

Martin Luther King Jr. Early Childhood Development Center (South District)

  • Access to the nearby HISD District Office, located several lots away, required incorporation of a pedestrian walkway so that teachers and administrators could go back and forth without entering the busy street​