Staff across Round Rock ISD will soon have the opportunity to learn in a classroom envisioned and planned by Cedar Ridge High School architecture design students.
The group of six seniors, consisting of Mason Woodland, Jazhiel Martinez, Joshua Vahalik, Erik Perez, Randy Lujan and Julian Stith-Maza seized an opportunity to design the layout and furniture for the Round Rock ISD Professional Development department classroom as part of the architecture practicum class. The classroom, located within the “Toolbox” professional development building at Round Rock High School, hosts thousands of teachers and professional staff each year to complete training.
“I have a deep admiration for high school students’ ability, creativity and leadership, so in discussing the redesign of our classroom, we wanted to include student input,” Professional Development Coordinator Chris Nieto said. “During the initial process, we came to Cedar Ridge and students interviewed us about what we were looking for and then the students came to look at the room in the Toolbox.”
The students worked with a $20,000 budget to outfit the room with seating areas, tables and a new wall structure that includes a countertop for staff to pick up training materials. After measuring the room, the students used Adobe InDesign and Revit design software to create the design. A scaled model of the classroom design was created and presented to Professional Development staff.
“We had a lot of visions and revisions, but in the end we worked as a team,” Randy said. “We kept trying to help each other out and we ended up with something that can be real, below the budget.”
Flexible triangle desks, designed by Julian, have the potential to be built by the Cedar Ridge construction classroom. The desks were designed to be used individually or as a collaborative table that turns into a circle when the triangles are pushed together.
“My initial idea, since we were designing a classroom, was to make triangle tables to help groups, but as we got through the semester I was able to keep designing and make the tables function like a puzzle,” Julian said. “During this project, I was able to find my niche and learned a lot more about architecture.”