We are excited to announce that the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design has selected Frank Black Middle School’s outdoor classroom area as the focus for its graduate students’ design/build project in 2019! The design/build project allows UH graduate architecture students to work with a client (FBMS) to design and build an outdoor structure. That structure will become a permanent fixture and focal point in FBMS’s outdoor classroom area, located near the sixth grade building. Huge thanks to Dianne Murata and Edgar Nunnelly for their work in presenting the FBMS outdoor classroom project to the UH team.
The graduate students work under the guidance of Professors Patrick Peters and Jason Logan, and are already meeting with a committee of FBMS administrators, teachers, parents, PTO members, and community members to design a structure that maximizes learning opportunities in the space. The students’ design time and fabrication work is donated so that the structure is built at the cost of materials, and we are even more excited to announce that this cost of the structure is being underwritten by the Dianne Murata/Robb Bunge family, as well as Robb’s employer, Noble Energy, which gives a generous match to their donation. Basic cleanup of the area is being paid for by the PTO. In addition, there will be future opportunities for our community to donate time and talent, as well as the potential for private and/or PTO funds to further improve the space per the master plan that the UH students will be developing in addition to the structure. We are looking forward to this venture between UH and the FBMS community to make the FBMS outdoor a truly amazing learning environment. The outdoor classroom is a wonderful example of public-private partnerships that have the ability to greatly enhance our community.