Originally built in 1966 at only 38‚000 SF, Mitchell Elementary is one of HISD’s smaller elementary campuses. Designed and constructed with a smaller student population in mind, the age of the campus is made additionally complex by serving a Pre-K thru 5th grade population of over 1‚000 students with the help of some 21 temporary building classrooms.
Midway through design, a request by one of HISD’s trustees was made to include the design of a small addition to provide relief to the existing library‚ which was being used as an overflow classroom. This modest addition consists of additional stacks area as well as a seating area‚ allowing the existing library to function solely as stacks area.
The bulk of the renovation for the building consists of replacement of existing HVAC ductwork and controls and replacement of the electrical service and PA system. Also included is the renovation and installation of new interior finishes and hardware in addition to limited site improvements.
The project was not without its challenges‚ given that it was discovered that the building was well within the City of Houston (COH) floodplain due to a history of subsidence in the region. Working with HISD and COH Floodplain Office‚ a variance was granted to HISD for the existing building to avoid costly flood mitigation that was not a part of the scope-to-budget report. In agreement with the COH, the new library addition complies with the City’s flood requirement and is 30″ higher than the finished floor of the existing building.