James Madison PK-8 STEAM Academy replaces the previous elementary school on the same site and is designed around the concept of being a good neighbor. The new school entry honors the neighborhood and is visible from the streets along the west and south sides of the campus. This configuration allows the play fields to have a stronger connection to the surrounding Houston Gardens, Boys & Girls club, and the adjacent walking trails.
To celebrate the diversity of the student population, the design team developed the design concept of weaving that honors the community it serves and S.T.E.A.M education. The concept is carried through the intention weaving of academic students and art, and through weaving the school into the community. The weaving concept was born from Latin culture and their use of woven tapestries. The use of color, geometric designs and shapes throughout the spaces also responds to Latin design.
Durable materials and generous natural light support a mission of sustainability. A clear and controlled main entry with exceptional lines of sight to the surrounding streets and parking improves safety conditions at Madison. The design of the school also recognizes the importance this academic and civic institution has for the community. Visitors and community users of the building are greeted with an open and spacious entry that connects all the community amenities at the heart of the school and campus.