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  Orange Grove High School, Page 33Orange Grove High School
WKMC Architects, Inc.
909 S. Tancahua Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78404

Orange Grove, Texas
Total Square Feet: 102,266
Construction Period: Oct 1998 to Jan 2001

Construction Team
General Contractor: Don Krueger Construction - P.O. Box 3613, Victoria, TX 77903
Structural Engineer: Laurence & Associates, Inc. - 4537 Southview Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78408
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Callins, Haggard & Associates, Inc. - 2000 S. Padre Island Dr., #103, Corpus Christi, TX 78416
Landscape Architect: WKMC Architects, Inc. - 909 S. Tancahua Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78404

When the Orange Grove Independent School District began the task of planning this new 750 student high school, they insisted the new facilities be designed to be more than the center of this south Texas community, they asked the design team to create a place that reflected the culture and history of the town and the region. The 2,000 student population of this largely rural school district exceeds the population of the city, so the community schools also function as the main public facilities in the community.

The planning of the school was largely driven by the need for a number of the spaces to operate independently and serve a variety of after hours uses. The library and computer laboratories serve as the city's public library on evenings and weekends. The computer labs are also used for adult education and literacy classes. This area of the building can be isolated and operated independently. The school cafetorium is the only assembly space with a stage for a thirty-mile radius. 

Athletic and band facilities are also designed to accommodate independent after school usage while maintaining a secure campus. 

Corridor space is kept to a minimum by providing access to and between the various buildings on the campus via covered walkways flanking an outdoor courtyard. The kitchen serves as the district's central kitchen and provides food services to three other school campuses. 

The site design of the campus strictly separates the various types of vehicle traffic and accommodates a large number of buses for this rural district. Student parking is separate and located to also serve the future football stadium. Service drives and kitchen access is also separated from the student and visitor areas. 

The buildings' architecture draws from a number of historical and regional references. The brickwork is reminiscent of that created by German immigrants who settled many central and south Texas communities. The use of galvanized steel roofing and wall panels mimics many agricultural structures in the area. The use of stucco and tile as materials evoke familiar images of architecture along the Texas-Mexico border region. The campus design fits nicely into its mesquite brush country location and creates a strong sense of identity for the school district and the entire community.

The town of Orange Grove was originally founded in the 1800's by land speculators who chose the tropical sounding name as a draw for early settlers. There was never actually any grove of orange trees. The exterior courtyard, which is central to the campus, has been dubbed as "The Grove". It too is missing any orange trees, thereby maintaining another piece of the community's history and tradition. 

The Texas Association of School Boards recognized this project in their 2001 School Design Awards Program with awards for Value and for Design.

DIV 07: Manufactured Roofing & Siding: Fabral; Insulation: Certainteed; EIFS: STO; Lath: Amico.
DIV 08: Steel Doors & Frames: CECO; Wood Doors: Buell Door Company; Hardware: Yale Security; Rolling Coiling Doors: Cornell Iron Works; Insulated Sectional Doors: Windsor Door Company.
DIV 09: Metal Support Systems: Dietrich; Drywall: United States Gypsum; Wall Panels: Kemlite FRP; Sports Flooring: Action Flooring, Inc.; Tile: Dal-Tile; Grout, Thinset: Laticrete; VCT: Tarkett.
DIV 10: Lockers: Superior Lockers.

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