Uplift Education Williams Preparatory Primary School
Dallas, Texas
Uplift Education
Williams Preparatory Primary School
Dallas, Texas

Opportunity. Building a future for those who may not have had one. An education can provide more than just knowledge. It can provide a foundation for young people to move seamlessly into the next phase of their lives. It can prepare them for taking the next steps. But it all starts with a solid education and a place to learn.

The new primary wing for Uplift Education’s Williams Prep School is located at the corner of Regal Row and Harry Hines in Dallas. The freestanding facility will serve 480 kindergarten through fifth-grade students. Uplift Education operates a network of 20 high-performing, tuition-free, public charter schools serving 5,700 students in grades K-12 in underserved areas across the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Each school provides free college preparatory education in a community that has limited high-quality public education options.


The Vision

Create solutions to an irregular-shaped site with significant grade change, single-street access, and poor traffic patterns relative to building layout.


The Design

The design of the school is marked by the “heart” of the building, creating a student gathering space through the use of a light well in a double-height volume.

Clustered special classrooms showcase curriculum and increase student awareness and interest through visibility.

A cafeteria with full kitchen to serve all campus buildings was designed to double as an activity room for play and physical education during inclement weather.

Innovative design solutions met the project’s site challenges by:

  • Identifying an alternate service drive location taking advantage of a grade change
  • Creating a playground area naturally protected by the building and site features
  • Creating a loop drive around the athletic field for vehicular queuing, effectively separating visitor and staff traffic from drop-off and pick-up activities
  • Creating an arrival plaza to connect pedestrian traffic from the existing school, new primary school and future gymnasium

Design Features

  • Created an iconic entry feature to the new school through a “flying canopy”
  • Incorporated complementary accent brick (color and bond) and metal panel banding to create interest through a varying, playful rhythm of color and texture
  • Reduced the total amount of masonry on the exterior face, creating a more affordable solution
  • Developed a daylighting  strategy that provided natural light (and views) in all occupied spaces in the building
  • Installed  vacancy sensors as well as lights that are on two-way switches which allow for teacher control to full or half of total intensity
  • Placed high windows in the corridor walls to allow for penetration of natural light deep into the building
  • Exceeded energy performance requirements by 15 percent

“Williams Prep is another great example, and on all of our charter school projects, HKS has found a way to create inspiring educational environments while working within very tight budget constraints. Our client has been very pleased.”
|  Peter Hayes, Program Manager, PMSI   |