Fort Worth, Texas – Each year, the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) showcase new and renovated Texas schools by celebrating excellence in planning and design of the learning environment through the Exhibit of School Architecture. A 12-member jury reviews project submissions and awards Stars of Distinction in categories of Community, Design, Planning, Sustainability, Value, and School Transformation. VLK Architects was honored to receive the Design and Community Stars of Distinction for the Crowley Independent School District’s Bill R. Johnson Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center.
“When students arrive at the Bill R. Johnson CTE Center, they say it feels like entering a prestigious college campus or the headquarters of a Fortune 500 company. And when they leave, they are equipped with the real-world skills they need to thrive because of what they’re learning inside this incredible facility designed by VLK Architects,” said Dr. Michael McFarland, Superintendent of Crowley ISD.
According to the Exhibit of School Architecture, Star of Distinction for Design is measured by categories such as the scale and relationship of spaces, use of materials, building organization and flow, adaptability and flexibility, instructional function supporting a variety of learning and teaching styles, and educational appropriateness. Crowley ISD expectations required the blended program campus to be unique to any typical academic building. Instead, the design of the 210,000 SF building allows students to experience college and the work environment with an intentional “research facility” look and feel.
The Star of Distinction for Community is based on the description of the project enhancing and embracing the community’s culture and diversity, considering its identity, community context, sense of place, overall purpose, and importance of the facility for the community at large. Real-world leaders’ experiences (medical, automotive, entrepreneurship, etc.) and community members influenced the design of the Bill R. Johnson CTE Center to deliberately combine early college and career preparation programs in one facility. The building creates adjacencies to the agriculture building, aviation building, and the new community garden, ensuring safe vehicular and pedestrian circulation for all students and visitors.
“The Bill R. Johnson CTE is a testament of an engaging design process that produced an outcome that students and teachers flourish in,” said Lauren Brown, AIA, NCARB, Principal of VLK Architects.
The TASA/TASB Exhibit School of Architecture, in collaboration with the A4LE-Southern Region Foundation, showcases new and renovated Texas schools and celebrates excellence in the planning and design of the learning environment. All nominated projects are displayed at the TASA Midwinter Conference in January.