Katy, Texas - On June 7th, VLK Architects attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Katy ISD’s newest school, Robert and Felice Bryant Elementary. Administrators, school board members, and future students participated in the momentous event to celebrate the beginning of construction of the school located adjacent to the Young Ranch and Willow Creek Subdivisions that will accommodate 1,030 students.

In 2014, the Katy community voted to approve a bond referendum that included the construction of six new school campuses. The district set out to create a new two-story prototype for future elementary schools while challenging VLK Architects to design a building featuring adaptable spaces for a variety of instructional styles to support next generation learning. Bryant Elementary is the third and final elementary school within the 2014 Bond to commence construction.

“Our children have had fantastic educations through Katy ISD. I love this community and this never gets old,” said Rebecca Fox, Katy ISD School Board President. “We want to make sure that our boys and girls get the best education they can because they deserve it.”

Robert and Felice Bryant were both in attendance at the groundbreaking and were chosen by the board of trustees as the namesake of this new school because of their long time commitment to Katy ISD. Mr. Bryant started his career with Katy ISD in 1983 as Katy High School’s director of bands and fine arts department chair. He was promoted to executive director of fine arts for Katy ISD in 2000 and won numerous awards throughout his tenure with the district.

Mrs. Bryant taught kindergarten and first grade for 24 years and was named the Katy Elementary teacher of the Year in 1997. Even though she is now retired, she continues to impact students through tutoring and mentorship opportunities.

“When you talk about pillars of a community, they epitomize that very well. When you talk about the board’s vision of ‘Be the Legacy,’ this is that legacy in action,” said Alton Frailey, Katy ISD Superintendent. “They know it is not about them. They have taught our children very well and given their all to this community.” 

Frailey also showed his support for the design of the new Bryant Elementary saying, “I want to thankVLK Architects. You have imagined a whole new concept for learning environments and I want to thank you for that.”

The design allows for ease of student circulation and facilitates supervision and administration while providing a safe and secure environment for learning. The new school will have classroom wings that enjoy natural light through large windows, organized around the media center to promote collaboration and will be situated to take advantage of the views and green space between each wing. Bryant Elementary is expected to open in the fall of 2017.

On Tuesday, February 23, the Early Learning Center and Holmes Junior High had a very significant visitor. The current Illinois Secretary of Education, Dr. Beth Purvis, visited CCSD59 by invitation of Dr. Art Fessler, CCSD59 Superintendent of Schools.


A Legat Architects project:

Dr. Purvis toured the Early Learning Center with board member Janice Krinsky and principal Michele Ramsey, who walked her through the entire facility. The tour included the sensory, fine arts, and nature gardens, the learning spaces, the kitchen area, and all the little design details that make the Early Learning Center such a great place for small children to learn.

A former preschool teacher, Dr. Purvis commented after the tour how much she would have loved the spaces in the ELC back when she was teaching. She expressed how significant it is that CCSD59 takes the ‘whole child’ approach, how all students can benefit from developing gross and fine motor skills in the ELC’s play spaces and gardens, and how even life skills and healthy eating are being taught in the culinary arts lab.

Dr. Purvis recognized all the hard work and critical thinking that went into creating the ultimate learning environment for the district’s smallest learners. “It is incredibly exciting to see such a well resourced, thoughtful design in the school environment. The school is bright, it is a really inviting place for children and for adults,” she said.

“Looking at the quality of instruction that is occurring in the classroom and the individualization that is occurring with every child gives me great hope that these students will arrive at kindergarten ready to learn and to flourish in their neighborhood schools.”

After the ELC tour, Dr. Purvis, along with CCSD59 administration, toured Holmes Junior High with four students acting as her guides. The students were quite excited to help her tour the school, and one area they particularly wanted to share included their new Learning Spaces environment, a specialized classroom that allows for more interactive learning via a flexible classroom structure.

CCSD59 administration was excited to share the district’s goals and vision with such an important guest. “It was a pleasure having Dr. Purvis visit the ELC,” Ramsey said. “Her commitment to developing the whole child and supporting children and families starting at birth is very strong, which is something I really admire.”

(Silver Spring, MD) — Key decision makers at schools, colleges or universities involved in the design, build, management or renovation of an educational facility are invited to apply for an Educational Facility Grant for the EDspaces 2016 Conference & Expo, November 2-4, 2016 in Cincinnati, OH.

EDspaces is the education industry’s most important international Conference & Expo for professionals who design, equip and manage creative learning environments. EDspaces, co-located with the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education’s Fall Conference, showcases the newest and most innovative products for educational facilities and includes a CEU-accredited education conference focused on forward-thinking, sustainable design and the changing impact of environments on learning.

Now in its sixth year, the purpose of the Educational Facility Grant Program is to assist school and college facility planners, administrators, and business/purchasing officials in making more effective decisions for their ongoing and future facility construction or renovation projects and to take part in the discussion about how facilities and learning interact. Last year’s program awarded over 100 grants to school districts and colleges and brought nearly $9 billion in current construction projects to the exhibit floor. Winners included both K-12 and college buyers from 35 states and Canada ensuring face time with schools and colleges in need of high-quality furniture and equipment. 

The Grant Award package includes hotel accommodations for up to three (3) nights at an official EDspaces host hotel and full conference registration which includes career-enriching educational sessions, exhibits and networking events.

To be eligible for a grant, applicants must complete a brief application, found at www.ed-spaces.com/grants/, providing information regarding planned renovation or construction projects. The Educational Facility Grant Program is a competitive application process. Grant applications will be evaluated based on the projected number and value of potential building projects. Completed applications are due by May 27, 2016. Grant winners will be notified by June 30 and must accept by August 19, 2016.

For more information and to access the grant application, visit www.ed-spaces.com/grants/. Registration for the event will open the first week of May.

SANTA ROSA, Calif., April 4, 2016 –The Sonoma County Junior College District (SCJCD, including all of Santa Rosa Junior College) announces its largest major districtwide facilities upgrade initiative in its nearly 100-year history with the master planning contract awarded to the joint venture team of Gensler and Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (Gensler+QKA). Gensler is an international architecture, planning, design and consulting firm with acclaimed credentials in higher education, and QKA is a Santa Rosa-based education industry master planning, design and construction administration firm. The team was chosen after a rigorous selection process to lead SCJCD’s district-wide facilities and technology improvement plan, which will be funded as part of the $410 million Measure H bond passed by voters in 2014.

“We are excited to kick off our ‘2030 Plan for Measure H,’ which includes a major overhaul of campus facilities in order to support our future students’ learning needs, as well as the future employee needs of Sonoma County,” said Dr. Frank Chong, Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Superintendent and President. “Gensler+QKA is a remarkable combination of a locally immersed, education-focused firm and a multi-industry firm that pulls from its worldwide experience. They are working closely with architect and planning professional Leigh Sata, our Director of Capital Projects, who has an extensive background working on California college bond projects.”

“The SRJC community is very enthusiastic about the power and potential for this project. More than 200 of our employees have volunteered to serve on committees related to Measure H implementation,” Dr. Chong added. 

With half of Sonoma County high school graduates relying on SRJC for local affordable higher education, Measure H aims to improve the educational experience and alleviate overcrowding through facilities renovations and seismic retrofitting, including modernizing math, science and laboratory spaces to better train students in these fast-growing job sectors. The future campuses and classrooms will undergo significant technology upgrades and will house expanded and new career technical education programs. Funding is also earmarked for updating teaching equipment and tools, and seismic retrofitting

“We look forward to working with a talented and experienced team of professionals from Gensler and QKA. Using the District’s strategic and educational plans to guide our facilities planning efforts, it’s going to be a true team effort,” said Sata.

Gensler+QKA, which has worked on similar projects with a combined 40 California higher education clients, will develop a Districtwide Facilities Master Plan to be employed on all five campuses in Sonoma County, which includes the SRJC Santa Rosa Campus and Southwest Center in Santa Rosa, Petaluma Campus in Petaluma, Shone Farm in Forestville and the Public Safety Training Center in Windsor.


“We are steadfast in leading SCJCD’s 2030 Plan into a customized transformative experience and modern upgrades for each campus,” said Karen Kuklin, the project’s lead director and a San Francisco studio director at Gensler.

“Having worked with Santa Rosa Junior College before, and considering our immersion in shaping Sonoma County’s high-profile educational landscape, we feel a close connection to this important and renowned institution. We have a clear vision for how the master plan and campus design process should unfold,” said Steve Kwok, a principal at QKA and the project’s lead architect.

Gensler+QKA currently is conducting a full condition and needs assessment of buildings and building systems, with a concentrated focus on energy efficiency, health and comfort, water and wastewater systems and management, and site and habitat needs. The second phase will include an analysis of demographic and education trends within the county with future needs for academic programs informing the Facilities Master Plan. The Master Plan will include architectural and landscape blueprints, technology systems design, and the creation of a building program for each campus.

“SRJC is recognized as a leader in academic, career and technical training, and it is an honor to be partnering with them to build their 2030 Vision,” said Deborah Shepley of Gensler, and the lead planner on the project.

About the Sonoma County Junior College District (Santa Rosa Junior College)

SCJCD is comprised of Santa Rosa Junior College campuses in Santa Rosa and Petaluma, Shone Farm in Forestville, Public Safety Training Center in Windsor, and the Southwest Center in Santa Rosa’s Roseland. The District also provides classes and training throughout Sonoma County, as well as parts of Mendocino and Marin. SRJC’s mission is to passionately cultivate learning through the creative, intellectual, physical, social, emotional, aesthetic and ethical development of its diverse community. The SRJC strategic plan details the vision, mission and values of the District. Further information about Measure H and SRJC: http://bond.santarosa.edu andwww.santarosa.edu.

About Gensler

Gensler is a global design, planning, and strategic consulting firm networked across 46 locations on five continents. Consistently ranked by U.S. and international industry surveys as the leading architecture and interior design firm, Gensler leverages its deep resources and diverse expertise to develop design solutions for industries across the globe. For its longstanding commitment to the advancement of sustainable design, Gensler received the Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2005. or more information, visitwww.gensler.com.

About Quattrocchi Kwok Architects

Santa Rosa-based Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) provides comprehensive master planning, design and construction administration services for Northern California K-12 and higher education, historic renovation and community facilities. With over $1.2 billion in projects completed in the company’s 30-year history, QKA’s award-winning portfolio reflects a commitment to design that emphasizes environmental sustainability and community impact. Recent projects include American Canyon High School, which is heralded as the “greenest school in America” and has achieved one of the highest scores of a California school to date from the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) Verified program. Visit:www.qka.com.

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Chasa Toliver-Léger, Affiliate IIDA

Public Relations 
+1 415.433.3700 Main

+1 415.836.4684 Direct 



Perkins+Will is attending the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) Southern Region Conference, April 15-17. In addition, our presentation team was selected for "The Death of the Textbook: How the Digital Age Shaped the Design of Lamar High School"! Our presentors include Patrick Glenn and Daniel Day from Perkins+Will, and Dr. James McSwain, Prinicpal for Houston ISD's Lamar High School. We're excited to share aspects of the unique and innovative design for Lamar High School that has led to "The Death of the Textbook", by incorporating a technology-centered learning environment. The presentation is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 at 1:15 pm - we hope to see you there!

Volume 26/Fall 2017 

Check out the digital edition 
Review all Articles & 68 Award Winners:

Volume 26/Fall 2017 - Supplement



6:00 pm 02.26.2018 - 7:00 pm 02.28.2018
4th Next Generation Learning Spaces


03.11.2018 - 12.14.2017
SCUP 2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference


04.11.2018 - 12.14.2017
Association for Learning Environments Northeast Region (A4LE-NE)


11.07.2018 - 11.09.2018
EDspaces 2018

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