Elementary schools for communities represent the common gathering spot for events and activities. Grand Saline Elementary School includes ample library space for reading and perusing books and resource materials, the gym includes natural lighting to reach out for sustainability and energy savings. Each grade is clustered around common area pods that allow for group viewing of educational materials and learning opportunities. The science core has access to a learning garden thriving with butterfly attracting plants. The overall layout of the school separates individual automobile drop-off from bus drop-off.
The design reflects the historical character of the rural community while maintaining efficient operations for the school district. Sustainable and energy saving solutions include spray foam insulation along the roof, modest interior ceiling heights so the district only heats/cools the space people occupy. The material selection was a balance between longevity, ease of maintenance, functionality and design character.
Marvin UMC, Herd Auditorium
Butler Architectural Group was originally selected by Marvin United Methodist Church in 2010 to provide concept design for a new youth facility. As part of that work, the need for an updated space to house the growing CORE contemporary worship ministry was identified.
After several months studying the feasibility of repurposing the church gymnasium, the building committee decided to simply renovate their existing Herd Auditorium. As design work began, Butler architects suggested the Owner consider modifying the room to include a balcony.
The additional seating in the balcony accomplished the goal of providing space for growth and, by reusing much of the existing infrastructure, the cost was substantially less than the gym renovation. The Owner readily agreed to the plan, which included a new stair tower at the exterior.
Though the CORE worship is contemporary in nature, Marvin UMC is one of the oldest churches in Tyler. As a result, the Owner desired for the interior design of the space to utilize traditional materials and colors in a contemporary way. To accomplish this, the architects made extensive use of stained wood slats, in many cases concealing acoustic treatments, and maintained a subdued color scheme throughout.
All existing theater seating was removed, refinished, and reupholstered. Though some seating areas were removed or reconfigured, all existing seats were reused. The first row of theater seating was removed and replaced with movable chairs to increase the flexibility of the platform area.
A state-of-the-art audio-visual-lighting system was also installed, giving the Owner nearly unlimited capability to control the space.