Nearly six years after initially considering designs for the district's fifth high school, the Klein ISD board of trustees approved a new design June 9 for High School No. 5, which is planned for completion in August 2017.
The board of trustees approved the first of two design options presented by architecture firm PBK at a Klein ISD board meeting June 9. The first option featured a more traditional, German-style look similar to other schools constructed by the school district, including the adjacent Ulrich Intermediate campus.
"What I see in option A is what the board approved in 2008," Superintendent Jim Cain said. "I think it has a great look. I think it has a great design. I think it has a great educational impact. However, several of you were not here on the board in July 2008, and we wanted you to have a second view."
The second option featured a more modern faade, but the interior was similar in both schools, PBK partner Ian Powell said. Since the construction materials were similar in both designs and the square footage was identical, the cost difference between the two designs was negligible, Powell said.
"Each high school has [its] own characteristic look to them," trustee Georgan Reitmeier said. "[The approved design] is very distinctive. I like all the learning centers. I think it's an exciting look, myself."
The 665,000-square-foot campus will house up to 3,600 students and will be located on an 83-acre site south of Spring Cypress Road next to Ulrich Intermediate School. The new high school was originally planned as part of the 2008 bond funding, but the project was delayed and Klein ISD opted to rebuild Klein High School first.
Robertson said about $60 million remains from the 2008 bond funds for the project, but money will be required from an upcoming bond referendum planned for 2015 for the estimated $155 million-$175 million required for the new high school. The amount of the overall 2015 bond referendum has not been finalized.
Although a bond election will be held next May, Robertson said the board of trustees voted last month to begin some early site work in January, including utilities and stormwater detention. He said that should voters opt against approving next year's bond package, the site work will not be wasted and can be used whenever the campus is constructed at a later date.
The main differences in the new design from the 2008 version, Robertson said, are some changes in classroom and code requirements. Although he said the school's interior was redesigned to take advantage of career and technology education programs.
The career and technology education areas of the school are designed to meet the graduation requirements recently defined by House Bill 5, according to the executive summary. The school will accommodate several different programs, including cosmetology, culinary, auto tech, welding, drafting, CISCO lab and child development.
When completed the campus will feature numerous modern learning environments, including a modern library near its entrance and several small learning communities to accommodate smaller student groups. Classrooms will also be arranged in an "L" configuration to allow for teacher-dependent and independent groupings.
High School No. 5 will feature fine arts areas for band, choir, orchestra and drama as well as a black box theater. The campus will house a competition gymnasium, two auxiliary gymnasiums, a dance room, ROTC spaces, weight rooms, laundry rooms, athletic offices, locker rooms and a 25-yard natatorium.
For more information, visit www.kleinisd.net.