Young Center recognized for excellence in design

By R. Hans Miller, News Editor
Posted 10/22/21

The Texas Association of School Administrators and Texas Association of School Boards have recognized Katy ISD’s Gerald D. Young Agricultural Sciences Center with five stars of distinction in …

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Young Center recognized for excellence in design

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The Texas Association of School Administrators and Texas Association of School Boards have recognized Katy ISD’s Gerald D. Young Agricultural Sciences Center with five stars of distinction in the 2021-22 Exhibit of School Architecture event, according to a press release from VLK Architects, the firm that designed the facility.

"With the construction of the Agricultura Sciences Center, Katy ISD was able to provide active learning opportunities about agriculture, animals, and nature in an effective, modern environment," said Lisa Kassman, Executive Director Facilities, Planning, and Construction of Katy ISD.

Located at 5825 Katy Hockley Cut Off Road, just north of the city of Katy, the $34 million facility houses the district’s Future Farmers of America events, has been used for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing and is used for community events throughout the year. It first opened in 2019 and includes resources for students of all grade levels within the district, according to the Katy ISD website. The overall facility includes a pond, show arena, pavilion, project center and rodeo arena which hosts the KISD Livestock Show and Rodeo each year.

The Exhibit of School Architecture awards are chosen by a 12-member panel which includes four school board members, four school administrators and four members from the Association for Learning Environments Southern Region. Educational facilities such as the Young Center are evaluated for distinction of design, value, innovation, community value and transformation. The Young Center received recognition for its incorporation of student expectations, graduation requirements, district growth and community usage opportunities, the press release said.

VLK Architects designed the facility and has offices across Texas in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.

Construction of the facility was paid for via a 2014 bond authorization for $99 million which voters approved.

Design of the facility by VLK Architects included opportunities for community input, which was incorporated into the final design.

  "The design of this facility was truly a community effort that began in 2013 with the formation of a design committee made up of community members, business leaders, rodeo and FFA members, students, teachers, and administrators as well as family members of the individuals that the facilities were named after," said Managing Partner of VLK Architects Todd Lien. "The resulting buildings and grounds reflect the strong history of Agricultural Science in the Katy area and Katy ISD."

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