Intermediate School, Dumas, Texas


Intermediate School, Dumas, Texas



Dumas Independent School District



This Intermediate School represents the District’s first use of a grade 5-6 campus, bridging the previous direct transition from elementary to junior high.  The design components respond to a District program request for distinct separation between the two grades, unified by a central core component. The graded wings each contain three teaching “pods” consisting of one science lab / lecture space and four classrooms. Provisions were made to expand each wing with one additional pod.


The core area contains administration, media, specialized classrooms, music, dining, assembly and physical education components. A secure entry vestibule leads to a dramatic, high-ceilinged commons area that serves as a circulation hub for the core area. The commons area uses clerestory windows and sky-lit intersections to emphasize the openness. The media center creates a strong first impression of learning by being displayed through a “saw-tooth” wall of glass panels.


The cafetorium area is truly multi-purpose including a stage area that can be physically and acoustically separated for use as a music practice space. The kitchen serving line is separated from the dining area by sliding obscure glass doors that allow for open serving, but aesthetic separation when the dining area serves in an assembly function. Music education is supported by a full band and choir complement more commonly seen at a junior high level, but supporting the “intermediate” concept of transition. The gymnasium responds to both a campus physical education and a community use program.


The development of the site effectively separates the parent / visitor parking and drop-off traffic from both the bus traffic and the staff parking. The parent / visitor area is associated with the formal main entry to the core areas. A secondary entry serves both the bus loading function and the after-hours athletic events. The bus loading area with its large paved parking area doubles as an all-weather play court for the 5th grade wing.  A sports field with walking track and multi-sport backstops was located on one end of the site adjacent to the 6th grade wing, the expected primary users of the field. The walking track, like the gym, was designed with community usage in mind.


Color and material selections are age-specific allowing for growing maturity but still providing stimulation for young students and staff alike. The commons area spaces utilize a more decorative palette of color and pattern, while the educational spaces are more reserved. A design theme of intersecting arcs is used in the exposed commons structure and is echoed in the flooring pattern. Furnishing styles and colors were coordinated by the architectural firm and helped maintain a uniform design consistency