Educational Specifications Update

three elementary students reading iPads in library reading nook

Educational Specifications Update 2021

Austin ISD is working on an update to 2017 Educational Specifications  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. For the purposes of planning, the Ed Specs recommend standard school sizes. The district does not have an ideal school size, however, and the design can be tailored to accommodate school communities of various sizes.

Ed Specs are required by State Law, and must be approved by the AISD Board of Trustees. Information on future board meeting dates for the approval of the 2021 Ed Specs will be posted once available.

2021 Proposed 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; and
  • input from district Academics and School Leadership teams.

Major proposed concepts include:

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

Gus Garcia YMLA students playing basketball

Athletics and Wellness

  • NEW wellness room at all schools to support student and staff mental health.
  • NEW 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

Visual and Performing 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 theater arts spaces are expanded to accommodate on campus performances.

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

Empowerment Center Rendering

Empower Center

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

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

Organized 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 Room

Community Partner Suite

NEW 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

Expanded Professional Learning Centers

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

Feedback - Due September 26

To share feedback on the proposed Ed Specs update, please fill out the feedback form Facility Assessments and Ed Specs Update Feedback Form (


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