The Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) have announced that 46 projects will be included in the 2021-22 Exhibit of School Architecture. 18 architectural firms submitted projects from 33 school districts and three colleges. Eligible projects are newly constructed or renovated public education facilities completed in the past five years and not previously submitted in this annual exhibit. This year, VLK Architects’ project, the Gerald D. Young Agricultural Sciences Center of Katy Independent School District, was awarded five Exhibit of School Architecture Stars of Distinction for Design, Value, Innovation, Community, and Transformation.
“With the construction of the Agricultura Sciences Center, Katy ISD was able to provide active learning opportunities about agriculture, animals, and nature in an effective, modern environment,” said Lisa Kassman, Executive Director Facilities, Planning, and Construction of Katy ISD.
The Exhibit of School Architecture awards are chosen by the discretion of a 12-member jury, including four school board members, four school administrators, and four members from the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) Southern Region. The juried exhibit awarded Stars of Distinction for Excellence to 22 projects in one or more of the following six areas: design, value, innovation, community, planning, and school transformation. Having received five of the six Stars of Distinction awards, Gerald D. Young Agriculture Sciences Center is eligible for the Caudill Award. The Caudill is the highest award given by the juried exhibit, and the winner is announced at TASA MidWinter this January.
This comprehensive expansion of the existing Agricultural Sciences facility was born with the realization of increasing expectations for student preferences, graduation requirements, and growth in the district and community usage. Serving the district’s K-12 population with over 87,000 students, this facility was built on the important historical aspects of the agriculture industry in this community for decades. In addition, this modernized structure incorporates ag instruction, rodeo, and a venue for traditions occurring in the community.
“The design of this facility was truly a community effort that began in 2013 with the formation of a design committee made up of community members, business leaders, rodeo and FFA members, students, teachers, and administrators as well as family members of the individuals that the facilities were named after,” said Todd Lien, AIA, Managing Partner of VLK Architects. “The resulting buildings and grounds reflect the strong history of Agricultural Science in the Katy area and Katy ISD.”