At a board meeting Jan. 23, the Keller ISD Board of Trustees approved designs for both schools by VLK Architects. Both elementary school projects are scheduled to be completed in summer 2021, according to district officials.
“I can’t tell you how happy and proud and excited I am,” VLK Architects CEO Sloan Harris said. “This is a journey that started ... over two years ago.”
Featuring almost identical floor plans, both elementary schools will be constructed on adjacent, available property while school remains in session, district officials said. The cost of both elementary schools will total more than $60 million.
“After we identified the first two projects, VLK held several meetings regarding campus administration, campus staff, students and parents in order to develop the floor plans and designs,” KISD Director of Property Management Billy Kidd said.
In an effort to replace two ageing facilities and meet district long-range planning efforts, both schools will feature a two-story concept that includes a two-story, central library.
Each school will have separate pods for special classes, classrooms organized by pod and grade level, outdoor science learning areas, think spaces, flex spaces and cafeterias close to the administration offices in order to accommodate visiting parents.
The most requested features for the new elementary schools were warm, natural lighting; glass and stone architecture; wide sidewalks and benches; a covered playground and colored glass or a mosaic wall, Harris said.
“That gives us an idea of how to develop the architectural vocabulary for the project and provide something the community likes,” Harris said.
According to Harris, another focus was parent pickup and drop-off and the necessity of stacking space for cars on each campus.
“We’ve probably quadrupled, if not more, the on-site stacking space and have more separated entrances and exits from the current campuses,” he said.