Hutto 9th Grade Center

Pfluger Architects designed the Hutto 9th Grade Center with a focus on reflecting Hutto’s history through materials, creating collaborative, flexible learning environments, and accommodating future growth seamlessly.

  • area / size 160,000 sqft
  • Completed 2021
  • Location Hutto, Texas, , United States
  • Hutto, a small town in Central Texas, is a fast-growth community with a rich history. Pfluger designed the Hutto 9th Grade Center so that the program and function inform the language of the façade and chose exterior materials that reflect Hutto’s history. The new building is planned and constructed with educational appropriateness as the driving factor and includes collaborative learning environments that focus on flexibility, small learning communities, and student engagement. The building has a curtain wall that spans the entire three-story height—allowing natural light in and creating minimal separation from the inside to the outside. The academic program buildings are clad in brick, the material used on the historic main street buildings in Hutto, with a relief pattern to bring in texture and depth. Punched storefront openings surrounded with a rusted metal panel are located where appropriate to the program within. Specialty or unique spaces utilize a 4-inch-deep corrugated, galvalume metal panel with large openings as needed for entry and exit. The corrugated metal is reminiscent of the silos at the gin co-op, a defining landmark in Hutto. Vertical, rusted metal panels, with the look and feel of the box cars of the ever-present trains, clad the black box theater and commons spaces.

    The “main street” of the campus is made up of an exterior paseo and an interior space that functions as the commons/dining area. The paseo connects the fine arts and athletics buildings which flank it to the east and west. The commons space connects the administrative offices and food service program on level one with the academic programs on levels two and three. A visual connection from north to south through the commons and paseo is maintained with glazing at level one. At level two, the black box theater opens to a commons space that fronts the media center. Both spaces have blurred boundaries encouraging multiple shared uses.

    The design accommodates growth and can expand from a 1,000 to a 2,400-student campus, without disrupting learning. Every wing will expand in different directions; fine arts and athletics will push north, and the academic building will expand south. Like the building’s responsive design, learning and instructional spaces offer variety and incorporate collaborative learning areas to encourage meaningful engagement through interaction and participation. The flexibility of the design respects individual learning styles and skill sets as well as future shifts in pedagogy and enrollment.

    Design: Pfluger Architects
    Project Team: Jessica Molter, Erik Leitner, Bobby Kincaid
    Contractor: Baird Williams
    Photography: Thomas McConnell