J. Frank Dobie High School Ninth Grade Campus Pasadena ISD | Pasadena, TX

The new Ninth Grade Campus was initiated due to the overcrowding of the current J. Frank Dobie High School. With enrollment predicted to be around 1,000 students, IBI Group designed the school to accommodate as many as 1,200 ninth graders.

The goal of the design was to provide a school that engages students and stimulates learning while providing a place that allows students to transition from the middle school environment to high school experience. Due to the anticipated growth in enrollment for upcoming years, Pasadena ISD decided to open a new ninth grade campus housing exclusively freshmen students.

The architectural design for the new school features several open areas for students to collaborate and discuss their ideas, including a large flex area outside the library that can be used for presentations, classes or meetings with fellow classmates. The natural light flows into the interior learning spaces, creating an inviting and stimulating atmosphere. In the middle of it all is a large and secure exterior courtyard, beautifully landscaped for students to enjoy while eating lunch, attending an outside lecture, or socializing after school.

The new campus is located just a few miles from the existing high school. The close proximity served as an inspiration for the design of the new building, mirroring the campus with the use of similar materials and colors. The distance, however, also gives the new campus the opportunity to be its own entity, with fresh ideas that celebrate a student’s start in a high school environment.

+ Master planning was completed by IBI Group for this district.

“Dobie High’s enrollment is more than 4,000, a “small city,” making it easy for fledgling high schoolers to become lost in the crowd. The Ninth Grade Campus was built because we had outgrown our (main campus) facility. The bottom line is that in schools that big, kids are really at risk of falling through the cracks, and it’s harder to provide interventions because there are so many different types of learning styles. In a smaller-sized school, you can really get to know the kids.”

—Michael Van Essen, Principal, J. Frank Dobie High School Ninth Grade Campus
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