Educational Specifications Update

three elementary students reading iPads in library reading nook

Educational Specifications Update 2022

Austin ISD completed an update to the 2017 Educational Specifications in March 2023 to ensure our schools are designed to support our students, educators, and families.

Ed Specs are design standards and concepts used by architects, engineers and school communities to guide school facility construction. This includes new buildings, historic renovations, and other modernization projects. 

Ed Specs are required by State Law, and must be approved by the AISD Board of Trustees.

2022 Modifications

Changes to the Ed Specs update were developed from:

  • lessons learned and comments from community members, teachers, students and staff who participated on the 2017 Bond Program Campus Architectural Teams;
  • the vision of the 2019 FMP for Athletics and Wellness, Visual and Performing Arts, and CTE and Career-connected Learning; 
  • input from district Academics and School Leadership teams
  • feedback from the long-range planning committees and community; 
    input from district academic departments and school leadership teams; and
  • post-occupancy evaluation survey results (pending).

Major new and expanded concepts include:

two male high-school aged students playing one on one basketball

Gus Garcia YMLA students playing basketball

Athletics and Physical Education

  • Fitness room at secondary schools to support physical education curriculum and ease scheduling conflicts with athletics.
  • High school competition gym is enlarged to a collegiate size court and additional seating.
  • Multipurpose gyms at secondary schools will have seating to support games.
  • High school wrestling rooms are expanded and can accommodate colorguard.
  • All high school outdoor athletics areas are enhanced with seating and lighting, including a football/soccer field with synthetic turf. 

all boys middle school choir singing joyfully

Gus Garcia YMLA Choir Performance

Fine Arts

  • Dance spaces at secondary schools will have an observation platform, and will also support drill teams and cheerleading.
  • Flexible music spaces that foster shared use at secondary schools.
  • High school theatre arts spaces are expanded to accommodate on campus performances.
  • Instructional spaces for guitar at secondary schools.
  • All high school outdoor athletics areas are enhanced with seating and lighting, including a football/soccer field with synthetic turf to support marching band activities. 

three girls working in a woodshop

Crockett ECHS Construction Technology Program

Career and Technical Education

  • Modular designs allow specialized spaces to be reconfigured to support the most up-to-date technologies and programming.

large flexible room with mobile chairs and tables with above stage lighting

Empower Center Rendering

Empower Center

Hyper-flexible shared space at secondary schools designed for a variety of programs and to encourage collaboration among academic departments.

Sensory Motor Lab

Mental Health and Wellness

  • School mental health center
  • Sensory motor lab to provide students with tools and space to self-regulate 
  • Space for Communities in Schools program to support students and families

students dressed in protective uniform spraying smoke to calm bees to check hive for honey

Beekeepers at Clifton Career Development School

Enhanced outdoor learning

Expanded requirements for gardens, animal habitats, outdoor studios, nature trails, cisterns, and grassy playfields at all schools to provide engaging hands-on learning opportunities.

hand washing station open to hallway with multiple toilet closets with full length doors.

All-learner Restrooms at Menchaca Elementary

All-learner restrooms

Self-contained toilet rooms with walls, not stalls, with a communal hand washing area located in each learning neighborhood.

Note: early childhood studios will continue to have restrooms connected between studios

two community members siting in chairs talking at a table

Community Partner Suite

Community Partner Suite

Individual workspaces, and one-on-one meeting areas for local nonprofits and support services, including storage spaces for food and clothing donations, to support students and families.

dedicated room with adjoining tables and chairs and kitchenette

Professional Learning Center at Menchaca Elementary

Professional Learning Centers

  • Space for traveling educators. 
  • Space for housekeeping staff to support focused work and collaborative meetings. 


Submit your questions to Let’s Talk via the online form or by texting (512) 856-6123.