Former L.D. Robinson Pavilion to become facility for special education, professional development

The former L.D. Robinson Pavilion will house a special education program and meeting rooms for professional development. (Rendering courtesy VLK Architects/Katy ISD)
The former L.D. Robinson Pavilion will house a special education program and meeting rooms for professional development. (Rendering courtesy VLK Architects/Katy ISD)

The former L.D. Robinson Pavilion will house a special education program and meeting rooms for professional development. (Rendering courtesy VLK Architects/Katy ISD)

Image description
VLK Architects is the project designer for the repurposing of the former L.D. Robinson Pavilion. (Rendering courtesy VLK Architects/Katy ISD)
The new design plan for the former L.D. Robinson Pavilion was approved by Katy ISD board of trustees at the regular March 30 board meeting.

Approximately 14,000 square feet of the 25,000-square-foot facility will be repurposed to become the new home for Project Teach Your Kids Early, or Project TYKE, which is part of the district’s special education department's early childhood intervention program, according to a presentation by Lisa Kassman, KISD’s executive director of facilities, planning and construction.

Additionally, about 10,000 square feet of the former pavilion will be devoted to professional development meeting rooms, Kassman said.

She did not specifically say what the remaining 1,000 square feet of the facility would be used for. However, according to the schematic design floor plan, the repurposed pavilion will also have restrooms, storage space, a kitchen, a mechanical room, a lounge area and a lobby.

VLK Architects Inc. is providing the design services for the approximately $5 million renovation project, per Kassman’s presentation. Construction bids will be selected in early summer. Construction is expected to begin in August with an anticipated project completion date of January 2021.


The L.D. Robinson Pavilion was built in 2004 near the Leonard Merrell Center, per meeting documents. It hosted the Katy ISD Future Farmers of America Livestock Show and Rodeo until February 2019, when the new $34 million Gerald D. Young Agricultural Sciences Center opened.

Board response

Board member Lance Redmon praised the design team for finding a new space for Project TYKE.

“Personally, Project TYKE affected my family,” Redmon said. “One of my kids was able to benefit from that service. ... And so I'm really excited ... that Project TYKE [will be] able to have a permanent home. ... I'm proud to be able to get that the home that it deserves.”

According to Kassman’s presentation, Project TYKE provides educational services to about 400 children per year with a medical condition, developmental delay or atypical development. Early childhood intervention programs service children from birth until three years old and are funded via federal and state grants, per the presentation and the district’s website.

Project TYKE currently operates out of portables located next door to Raines High School, 1732 Katyland Drive, Katy, Kassman said. Superintendent Ken Gregorski added that these portables are old and in need of repairs.

“The cost of fixing those portables or putting new ones out there was to the tune of about [$500,000-$750,000],” he said. “Not a real wise investment.”

Additionally, moving Project TYKE to the former L.D. Robinson Pavilion provides an opportunity to expand Raines High School’s programs, Gregorski said.

Board member Dawn Champagne said she was happy to see the pavilion will have space devoted to professional development, though she expressed interest in expanding the district’s career and technical education programs.

Gregorski said KISD considered this use, but when students took a survey related to KISD’s strategic design, the district found that only 3% reported interest in apprenticeship-type programs for heating, ventilation and air conditioning as well as plumbing opportunities.

“We’ve been discussing [the repurposing of the former L.D. Robinson Pavilion] for about two years now with several things, and one of them is what [Champagne] brought up—the possibility of ... [a] skilled trades-type program in there,” he said. “We moved away from that. ... [Based on the survey,] the interest really isn’t there.”
By Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Jen has written about business, politics and education. Prior to CI, Jen was the web producer at Houston Business Journal.


MOST RECENT

The rate of new cases being confirmed is still up compared to the end of April and early May. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Weekly total of new cases falls after two weeks of increases

The rate of new cases being confirmed is still up compared to the end of April and early May.

Texas Medical Center continued to see week-over-week decreases in the total number of active COVID-19 hospitalizations but also saw a significant increase in patient deaths, the medical center reported May 29. (Community Impact staff)
Texas Medical Center sees another week-over-week decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations

Texas Medical Center continued to see week-over-week decreases in the total number of active COVID-19 hospitalizations but also saw a significant increase in patient deaths, the medical center reported May 29.

Fire Station No. 1 in Katy has temporarily closed due to mold. (Nola Z. Valente/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy Fire Station to be remediated after mold infestation

Fire Station No. 1 in Katy has temporarily closed due to mold.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Katy-area readers. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy area's daily COVID-19 case count increases by 4 on May 29

The total number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic increased to 1,013 on May 29.

The Willie's Grill & Icehouse restaurant in Copperfield is temporarily closed after reopening in mid-May. (Courtesy Willie's Grill & Icehouse Copperfield)
Study predicts coronavirus spike and other top Houston-area stories

Read some of the most popular Houston-area content on Community Impact Newspaper’s website from this week.

The syrup drums being repurposed into rain barrels were donated from Coca-Cola. (Courtesy Galveston Bay Foundation)
Galveston Bay Foundation to host virtual, drive-thru rain barrel workshop

The Kemah-based nature conservation nonprofit is hosting a rain barrel workshop this weekend for Houstonians thirsting for a way to help conserve the community’s water supply.

Fort Bend County Judge KP hosted a discussion on Facebook Live with officials from the Kinder Institute and Fort Bend County Health and Human Services about how the results of the COVID-19 Registry will be used. (Courtesy Fort Bend County)
Fort Bend County officials to use COVID-19 Registry to guide coronavirus response

Here is how you can join the COVID-19 Registry and shape Fort Bend County's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Texas Renaissance Festival is set to resume Oct. 3 with safety guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. (Courtesy Texas Renaissance Festival)
Texas Renaissance Festival announces tentative modifications for 2020 season

In a May 28 statement, General Manager Joseph Bailey said new safety measures are in the works to comply with governmental recommendations, and an operating plan is expected to be reviewed with officials in June.

Kona Reserve Coffee is now open. (Courtesy of Kona Reserve Coffee)
Kona Reserve Coffee opens in Katy area

Kona Reserve Coffee, located at 4020 FM 1463, Ste. 100, Fulshear, opened May 21.

Green Trails was built out in 1998. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
May 2020 featured neighborhood: Learn more about Green Trails in the Katy area

Home values in Green Trails range from $235,000-$529,000.

Katy ISD Chief Financial Officer Christopher J. Smith provided an update on next year's budget at the May 26 school board meeting. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tax rate, salaries and COVID-19: 3 things to know about the 2020-21 Katy ISD budget

The district's chief financial officer provided an update on next year's budget at the May 26 school board meeting.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Katy-area readers. (Community Impact staff)
After three months of pandemic, Katy-area confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 1,000 on May 28

Texas began reporting confirmed positive cases March 6 in Harris and Fort Bend counties.