First Opening its doors in 1916, El Paso High School, or the “Lady on the Hill,” is the longest serving public high school in the city of El Paso. Designed by renowned architectural firm Trost + Trost, its iconic neoclassical facade with its Greco-Roman motifs and details, subtly disguises one of the “first modern high schools”. Tasked by the El Paso Independent school district, MNK with the DLR group were to design a much-needed Fine arts facility for the campus and interior improvements to the existing historic building.
At the core of the design was creating a much-needed facility to house all the fine arts curriculum, while also providing an architectural style to complement the historic facility and create a harmonious balance. The new Fine Arts building incorporates 21st century learning environments, with light filled spaces and volumes appropriate for choir, band, theatrical and fine arts instruction. The key feature is a double volume entry filled with light and visual connectivity, with a “Learning Stair,” which allows for casual student interaction and gathering, or impromptu performances. Additional improvements included a partial interior renovation of portions historic building, and the addition of new Tennis courts.
One of the main challenges for the project was coordinating production and coordination efforts spread across 4 cities, and 3 states, all while meeting design deliverables on time. Through patience, dedication, and perseverance, MNK with the DLR group was able to successfully submit the design on time and on budget.
To further put the client at ease, MNK stayed in contact with our consultants with regular meetings throughout the design process to assure building systems worked with design intent. This in turn was constantly presented to our clients to put them at ease and trust our expertise. By always trying to involve the client and explaining the rationale behind all our decisions which are guided by architectural principles MNK assures the client is involved throughout the process and is confident that their vision is being delivered.