On February 28th, 2020, Govalle Elementary School celebrated the grand opening of their new campus, one of the first modernization projects to be completed as part of the 2017 Bond Program. The ceremony included remarks and performances from Govalle students and remarks from Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz, Austin ISD Board of Trustees President Geronimo Rodriguez, District 2 Trustee Dr. Jayme Mathias, and Govalle Principal Paula Reyes.
Govalle Elementary School has served East Austin students since 1931. Govalle boasts a wide range of offerings, including Pre-K, dual language and fine arts, as well as programs focused on science, technology, engineering and math.
The modernized campus is organized around a central open courtyard and main street that create distinct spaces for academics, fine arts and athletics. The two-story school incorporates two learning neighborhoods–one on each floor–with each neighborhood including 12 studios, a professional learning center, a maker space and small group break-out rooms to support 522 students. At the heart of the school is the media center; this area fuses together the two-story academic wing and the secondary active block that incorporates the gymnasium, cafeteria, art lab and music lab.
Input from teachers, families and the community shaped the design of the building. Its orientation focuses on conserving existing trees on the site and providing convenient access to community spaces. The addition of a bus loop and parent drop-off area will alleviate neighborhood traffic. Architects designed the building to achieve LEED Silver Certification, and it was built with water and energy-efficient materials.
With the new school now in use, construction for phase two of the project will begin. Taking place through summer 2020, phase two includes removal of the original building to make room for an open playfield, gardens, a covered sports court and playgrounds for students and the community to enjoy.
Special thanks to the Austin ISD Board of Trustees, teachers and team members, the Facilities and Bond Planning Advisory Committee and the Community Bond Oversight Committee, as well as the Govalle Campus Architectural Team, AECOM, PBK Architects, and Balfour Beatty whose dedication and time throughout the planning and design process have made this school a reality.