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  Gregory-Portland High School, Page 44Gregory-Portland High School
909 S. Tancahua Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78404
213 South Lamar, #300, Austin, TX 78704

Portland, Texas
Total Square Feet: 274,989
Construction Period: Mar 2001 to Sep 2002 

Construction Team
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Fulton/Coastcon Construction Company - P.O. Box 9486, Corpus Christi, TX 78469
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Laurence & Associates, Inc. - P.O. Box 771, Corpus Christi, TX 78403
ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Kent Consulting Engineers - 5113 S.W. Parkway, #115, Austin, TX 78735
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Doug Wade, A.S.L.A., Landscape Architect - 537 Chamberlain, Corpus Christi, TX 78404

When the Gregory-Portland Independent School District began the task of planning this new 2,400 student high school, they insisted the facility not only be designed to reflect the culture and issues of the community but they challenged the design team to create a place that addressed specific priorities such as Security & Safety, Flexibility & Versatility and Value. These ideas were thoroughly discussed during an intensive three-day charrette, where administrators, community members, teachers, students and architects came to a consensus on a new showcase high school, one reflecting the unique, easy-going spirit of this coastal community. Participants in the charrette worked in teams on alternate schematic designs developed through repeated evaluations by the whole group, until a consensus design was reached, incorporating input from all parties.

The site plan development of the school centered on flexibility and versatility. Space had to be allowed for several practice fields, expansion and extensive flood retention. A major factor was the need to avoid conflicts with the existing campus across the street while making it easy for visitors to access the several public facilities such as the Performing Arts Theater. Traffic was arranged to separate student, teacher and visitor parking and to allow students to walk to all practice fields without encountering or crossing traffic.

Security and safety and the need for a number of spaces to operate independently and serve a variety of after-hours uses largely drove the floor plan development of the school. The layout was organized around an open common corridor, designed to concentrate most student traffic in a single, easily monitored space with no obscured views. This common corridor, with associated restrooms and concessions can be opened separately for community use. Each major program area opens off of the common corridor and is contained in its own wing, any of which can be expanded as needs arise. Zoning of the major spaces allows for separation of high noise and activity areas from quiet areas of learning such as the Library with its Distance Learning Center.

The buildings' exterior architecture incorporates a number of regional characteristics. The curving roof forms are not only reminiscent of waves in the nearby bay, but are an essential value driven design element. These wave-like forms accommodate a variety of minimum building heights for each distinct function, eliminating the need to raise the height of exterior walls in several areas. Tensile fabric canopies and entry features reflect the spirit of the coast and provide the students with generous amounts of shade, which is vital in South Texas.

DIV 07:
Membrane: Tamko; EIFS: STO Corp.; Roof Hatch: Bilco.
DIV 09: VCT: Armstrong; Carpet: Shaw.

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