Work continues on the project to update the Katy ISD Welch Outdoor Learning Center.
Lisa Kassman, KISD executive director of Facilities, Planning and Construction, said at the May 20 board of trustees work-study meeting that administration recommends Anslow Bryant Construction Ltd. as the construction manager at risk to oversee the renovations of the center.
The firm was selected out of seven proposals received by the district, she said. The firm’s estimated total cost to KISD for the project is $82,626, according to KISD documents.
The total cost of the project is $6.9 million and is funded through the 2017 voter-approved $609.2 million bond, according to the district’s website. Construction is expected to start in July with an anticipated competition date in January.
Kassman said design plans were still underway for the center, but they will be presented to the board this summer. Design considerations include adding emergency access behind the site and cleaning up the existing pond for more capacity, she said.
“I just wanted to say that I’m really excited about this project,” trustee Dawn Champagne said.
Located about 0.25 miles west of the Katy ISD administration building at 6301 S. Stadium Lane, Katy, the center sits on roughly 34.5 acres of land and includes a barn, barnyard, classrooms and gardens, according to KISD documents.
Several events and activities are held at center. Fourth graders attend science and history field trips, and first graders participate in a chick hatching, according to KISD documents. Outdoor clubs and classes fish at the pond, and the center hosts the the annual Folk Life Festival. The district also has partnerships with girl and boy scout groups as well as Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to use the facilities.
The learning center has not had any renovations or upgrades other than routine maintenance since it opened in 1982, according to KISD documents.
The renovation project would include improving:
- life safety;
- fire and Americans with Disabilities Act code compliance;
- safety and security;
- interior finishes;
- heating, ventilation and air conditioning;
- electrical systems;
- roofing; and