Northside High School Performing Arts Addition and Comprehensive Renovations Houston ISD | Houston, TX

Northside High School, formerly known as Jefferson Davis High School, was built in 1926. An addition to the school was completed in 1978 with the addition of several temporary buildings over the years. IBI Group was tasked with designing the 265,283 sq ft new facility and addition to the original campus while preserving the architecturally significant building structure for a school accommodating 1,500 students.

The scope of work called for a complete remodel of the building’s interior and all of its mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, while also preserving the school’s historic architectural facade along Quitman Street and the auditorium which features ornate golden ceiling medallions. Dated, undersized classrooms were replaced with small group rooms and extended learning centers. Colors in the corridors are utilized as wayfinding throughout the campus. Exterior windows were replaced and additional windows were installed to bring in more natural lighting to extended learning inspiration bars and hallway areas where students utilize their tablets. The exterior of the addition conveys the spirit of Northside with their signature purple on the cladding and glass.

A culinary arts/science wing was added to the rear side of the campus. The new Culinary Center is open concept with large viewing windows along the hallway, allowing students and staff the opportunity to view culinary arts demonstrations and presentations. The facility provides the space and equipment for two professional kitchens as well as banquet space so that students can prepare for real-world experience in culinary arts or hotel management.

The new Performing Arts Center features custom-fitted spaces for the band, choir, mariachi band and dance team. A science wing was created on the second floor to help consolidate the department and encourage collaborative teaching and learning between classes. Artwork and specific wayfinding wall colors were utilized throughout the space.

“Replicating an entire cast-in-place concrete structure would not be economically feasible to duplicate in today’s market. However, changes were necessary to meet code requirements and educational design guidelines, provide ease of constructability and meet the budget. Exterior windows and doors, room sizes, and the existing interior partitions were altered while the majority of the façade remained intact.”

—Chudi Abajue, Project Manager
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