Allen ISD, Georgetown ISD, Northwest ISD, and Richardson ISD have been selected to receive the Caudill Award, the highest honor in the annual Exhibit of School Architecture (EoSA) competition facilitated by TASA and Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) for projects that exemplify excellence in planning and design of the learning environment. They will be honored during the 2021 TASA Midwinter Conference, to be conducted virtually January 25-27.
The winning projects received at least four stars from six areas of distinction, making them eligible for the Caudill Award, which is named after Texas architect William Wayne Caudill (1914–1983), whose progressive concepts continue to influence school design.
Allen ISD won for the Allen STEAM Center. This innovative facility solved community needs and enrollment growth while looking to the horizon for determining future student interests and skills. A total shift in culture occurred with an explosion of STEAM interest across the district. Inspired by industries and growing career needs, the facility serves high school students and provides studios for K-8th grade experiential learning. The rich site provides trails, a wetland zone, and natural creek, all expected daily learning environments. VLK Architects designed the project.
Georgetown ISD won for the retrofitting of Tippit Middle School. A kinetic and collaborative culture was created by molding a fragmented 1980s space into a dynamic and cohesive learning environment. The character of the split-level design endured, elevated by a new two-story commons that anchors the campus and creates a multipurpose student union. Removal of walls, addition of gathering space, and use of teacher design labs created flexibility. Windows and interior glazing connect the space to nature and filter light through a previously dense space. Huckabee designed the project.
Northwest ISD won for the reimagining of its elementary prototype, Lance Thompson Elementary School. They began with a question: “What does the school of the future mean to you?” Together, nearly 200 students, educators, and district leaders envisioned a school with no boundaries, where learning was always on display. Biophilic design elements, connection to the outdoors, flexible small and large learning spaces, grade-level neighborhoods and an iconic, treehouse-inspired commons create a unique and inspirational academic experience. Huckabee designed the project.
Richardson ISD won for the Berkner High School STEM Exploration Center, an adaptive reuse of an existing space that transformed a closed concept into an open multi-lab space, increasing daylight and support to varying curricula. Hands-on learning, making kits, and interactive technology now serves all students in the high school feeder pattern, enriching 12,000 students each year and providing professional development for teachers, so they develop competency and confidence in STEM teaching. Perkins&Will designed the project.
The EoSA awards are given at the discretion of a 12-member jury, which includes: four school board members, four school administrators, and four members from the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) Southern Region. The Caudill Award winners were chosen from among 25 projects awarded Stars of Distinction in the areas of community, planning, transformation, design, value and sustainability.
The 2021 EoSA is an online exhibit, viewable at texasschoolarchitecture.org, of new and renovated Texas school facilities. Eligible projects are newly constructed or renovated public education facilities completed in the past five years and not previously submitted in this annual exhibit.