In Austin, the Rosedale School has opened for students with special needs aged 3 to 22. The new facility features sensory rooms, fully accessible playgrounds and gardens, community meeting spaces, and an on-site clinic. The school serves 100 learners with special needs from across Austin Independent School District (ISD).
Replacing the original Rosedale Elementary School, which was created in 1988, the new Rosedale School has been organized into learning areas serving specific populations of students: medically fragile, social and behavioral disorders, and transition to life in the community. The design of each area, or neighborhood, takes inspiration from the natural environment—such as the colors and patterns of vegetation, the movement of water, and the shapes of wildlife. These areas, as well as shared community spaces, are connected via a central hub that’s referred to as the living room.
To provide comprehensive assistance for students with diverse physical needs, the school features patient lifts inside the classrooms. These lifts help teachers safely and efficiently move students who need additional physical assistance, and they ensure that every child can participate fully in educational activities.
Throughout the campus, murals of iconic Austin landmarks such as Barton Springs, food truck parks, and Lady Bird Lake connect the school with the larger community. The school’s park remains open to the public after hours.
In partnership with the healthcare center Ascension Seton, the school also has an on-site pediatric clinic that serves both Rosedale students and the larger community. Austin ISD hopes the combination of a school and clinic serving individuals with medical and behavioral needs will serve as a model across the country.
On the Building Team:
Owner: Austin ISD (clinic owned by Dell Children’s Medical Center, part of Ascension Medical Group)
Architect and interior designer: Page Southerland Page
Landscape designer: Asakura Robinson Company
Civil engineer: Garza EMC
Structural engineer: Datum Rios
MEP engineer: CNG Engineering
General contractor: Rogers-O’Brien Construction