Ridlen Bowen, Katie Jean (2022-04). IntraHousing: Housing for Student Teachers in Rural School Districts. Master's Thesis.
This project imagines an architectural solution to the educational gap rural East Texas school districts face. Texas is suffering from a shortage of teachers, many teachers are exiting the profession and fewer are completing certification programs to enter into the profession. The effects of this are significantly more detrimental in smaller school districts. IntraHousing proposes an alternative form of housing for these districts to recruit and retain graduate student- and newly hired- teachers. Offering housing to teachers is one way smaller districts can compete with larger urban centers. This idea has precedents; for example, Marfa Independent School District renovated an unused administrative building and army barrack to create apartments for attracting teachers. This project, based in Caldwell, Texas, builds on Marfa's example to provide an architectural, financial, and institutional "kit-of-parts" that could be realized in other East Texas towns facing similar issues. In addition to the well-known formal investigation of the "nine square problem," John Hejduk, in his Seven Texas Houses, envisioned the architectural program of the house as a list of typical domestic spaces. This project used Hejduk's list of spaces as the basis of a survey sent to teachers across Texas. The survey asked teachers to convey their level of comfort in sharing these spaces. The results showed teachers were willing to share spaces often considered private, and it also indicated a need for spaces dedicated to teaching preparation. These programmatic results were combined with a formal study of the Texas urban grid for the purpose of integrating student teacher housing in small town centers. These architectural strategies are supported by a theoretical framework that outlines the various institutional and financial conditions required to realize this proposal. This project hopes to be a solution for the pressing needs in rural housing and education.