Katy ISD to consider $68M multipurpose facility

Monday night's Katy ISD Board of Trustees was packed with discussion on some of the district's biggest proposed projects to date. PBK Architects presented its preliminary design for a second football stadium and multipurpose facility, and the board approved for two separate firms to perform design services on an agriculture complex and science center.

The second stadium and agriculture complex and projects the board has been considering since an operations presentation in May. Last night's operations update presented a third student facility up for discussion: a science, technology, engineering and mathematics project center. Board members expressed enthusiasm for all three, and must call for a bond election by August 26 which will place the projects in the voters' hands.

"In just a couple of months, come along way in addressing these student facilities," said Tom Gunnell with KISD operations.

The stadium

KISD staff has identified the district as the only one in Texas with more than six high schools and just one athletic stadium. A second stadium, placed north of Rhodes Stadium, would alleviate current scheduling headaches and open the doors for other school organizations, such as marching band, choir, soccer as well as community events and concerts.

Total cost for stadium construction is about $68 million, and a 50-member advisory committee that worked with PBK Architects on the design determined a seating capacity of up to 14,000-15,000 with about 4,600 parking spaces. The new facility will include an activity center, multi-purpose rooms, field house, athletic offices, four locker rooms that can be opened into two large locker rooms, training rooms, a story-and-a-half press box, film decks, warming kitchen, administrative offices and other support areas.

"We talked about strengths and weaknesses of current athletic facilities—any stadium that anyone knows about and also set some goals...so this is the initial start of the design," said Trey Schneider, president of PBK Sports, a division of PBK Architects. "Its not just a stadium but multipurpose facility"

Total project cost is estimated at $68 million. If approved by voters, construction would begin in May 2014 with substantial completion on by July 2015.

Community members raised concerns about traffic congestion if two events were hosted simultaneously at the two stadiums, but Schneider pointed out that every road that borders the stadium property is a four-lane boulevard, and when Grand Parkway's Segment E opens, it will increase mobility options for north Katy and Cypress residents who commute for events.

The agriculture complex

Because agriculture operations have outgrown the L.D. Robinson Pavilion, the board is considering constructing not just a replacement pavilion, but an entire complex complete with a rodeo arena, teaching pond and more barn space. However, board members expressed concerns over the state of roads surrounding the site, which is at Katy Hockley Cut-Off and Beckendorff Road.

"We have a traffic study underway for the agriculture complex and we are looking at road improvements," Gunnell said. "Lot of development out there and we will take advantage of those opportunities as soon as we have an architect."

The board will vote to approve VLK Architects to design the complex at its July 22 meeting.

The STEM project center

Gunnell brought the concept of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics center to the board for the first time last night and received positive feedback on its potential. The building would sit on approximately two acres adjacent to the Miller Career Center and provide space for the robotics program many high schools offer and are experiencing growth in popularity. It would also feature classroom space that Miller Career Center can utilize.

The board will vote on approving the SHW Group as the architects for the project at its July 22 meeting.

To learn more about the projects, visit Katy ISD's website here.

What is next:

July 22 (KISD regular meeting)—The board considers approving stadium design by PBK Architects

August 19—The board considers calling an election

August 26—Deadline for board to call a bond election

November 5—Bond election

November—Agriculture center and STEM center final design presented to board

December—Final stadium design presented to the board

April 2014—If bond passes, construction could begin on the stadium

June 2014—Agriculture construction proposals to the board

August 2014—STEM center opens, board approves construction to begin on agriculture center

July 2015—Proposed stadium opens