Texas Middle School Project Reaches Midway Point

By Eric Althoff

HUTTO, Tex.—As the final steel beam at what will be the new Gus Almquist Middle School was hoisted into place at the construction site, the beam took along to its new home the signatures of members of VLK Architects and the Hutto Independent School District.

Drymalla Construction Company LLC is serving as general contractor for the two-story middle school, which will host 1,200 students. Specific educational space will be dedicated to fine arts, athletics.

VLK applied its VLK | LAUNCH® approach to collaborate with district leaders and the community to imagine an innovative design that incorporated a centralized outdoor courtyard. VLK’s design also features a space for cafeteria overflow, and many classrooms will have adjacent outdoor accessibility for project-based learning. Additionally, the school will offer a second-floor library as well as tiered seating that can be utilized for spectators to observe lectures, presentations and even esports.

The new Gus Almquist Middle School will be the third school within the district to bear the name of Hutto ISD’s former board president.

“It was a pleasure honoring the Almquist family at today’s beam-signing ceremony,” Tim Kunz, principal at VLK Architects, said at the event. “Their inscriptions, along with many others, will be a part of this building forever. VLK is grateful to support teaching and learning in Hippo Nation and looks forward to seeing future students thrive in their new middle school.”

Hutto ISD entails seven elementary schools, two middle schools, a ninth grade center, one high school and an alternative campus. The new middle school is scheduled to open for students in the fall of 2024.

VLK perform planning, architectural and interior design work in the K-12 sector. The firm operates from offices in San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston and Fort Worth.