Joe M. Pirtle Elementary School, Belton Independent School District|
2204 Forbes Dr., #101, Austin, TX 78754
Total Square Feet: 81,049
Construction Period: Jun 1998 to Jul 1999
General Contractor: Neu-Tek Construction Co., Inc. - PO Box 2148, Temple, TX 76503
Structural Engineer: P.E. Structural Consultants - 8436 Spicewood Springs Rd., Austin, TX 78759
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Talex, Inc. - 6300 La Calma Dr., #150, Austin, TX 78731
Cost Estimator: Busby & Associates, Inc. - 2470 Gray Falls, #250, Houston, TX 77077
Roofing Consultant: Austech Roof Consultants - 2312 Western Trails, #403, Austin, TX 78745
Joe M. Pirtle Elementary is a bold and innovative K-4 school, quite different from the district's original schools. Using the district's school color red as an identifying element, durable splitface and smooth veneer concrete masonry units with red tile accents and neutral colored stucco make up the exterior finishes. Red aluminum windows and red fascia and gutters continue the accents. Concrete columns matching the red tile and neutral color stucco are capped with a red metal standing seam roof to highlight the main entry and direct visitors into the school. Geometric shapes recessed into the entry walls provide a preview of the hands-on experience that awaits inside. Pitched metal galvalume roofs allow room above the ceilings for mechanical platforms to house fresh-air machines and condensing units that serve the classroom wings and kitchen. The platforms are accessed through custodial rooms or exterior double doors at platform height.
The playful interior of tall corridors with clerestory windows, red exposed columns, exposed ductwork, and pastel accents of vinyl wall covering and floor tile provides a natural backdrop for displays throughout the school. Natural light is prevalent with clerestory windows in the corridors, translucent wall panels in the entry lobby, and ample classroom windows. Three areas can be used by the community after school hours while the classroom wings are secured. The expansive lobby serves informal gatherings, and the library and cafetorium are used for meetings and performances. All three areas are centrally located and easily accessible from two parking areas.
During the planning stages, technology was a top consideration. Each classroom is wired for a maximum of eight networked computers, with additional runs of category five wiring above the ceiling for future additional outlets. All computers are tied into the network system based in the centralized nerve center. Each wall mounted television monitor is linked to a media retrieval system that allows several classrooms to view an educational program at the same time. The district played a key role in requesting low maintenance finish materials such as concrete masonry unit corridors, epoxy paint, and vinyl tile throughout the school. Large volume spaces such as the cafetorium are heated with high-efficiency gas fired duct furnaces. Outside-air requirements to meet indoor-air quality are achieved through the use of high-efficiency energy recovery machines.
Joe M. Pirtle Elementary School was honored to receive a 2000 Criteria Value Award from the Texas Association of School Boards and the Texas Association of School Administrators. Criteria awards are given to public schools in Texas that best display optimum characteristics for an educational environment. The Value Award represents that the Joe M. Pirtle Elementary School was constructed efficiently and economically, while maintaining a conducive and pleasing atmosphere for learning.
- CMU: Featherlite Building Products; Windows: Traco; Translucent Wall Panels: Kalwall; Entrances: Tex-Steel.
Roof - Standing Seam: Centria.Floors - VCT: AZROCK; Ceramic Tile: Dal-Tile; Carpet: Collins & Aikman.
Interior Walls - Vinyl Wall Coverings: Essex Wallcoverings a Div. of OMNOVA Solutions; Paint: Sherwin Williams; Acoustical Treatment:
Tectum; Louvers: Construction Specialties, Inc.: Plaster: Thoro Systems a Div. of ChemRex, Inc.; Casework: Wilsonart.