Condit ES selected as finalist for Texas school architecture competition

Designs for three additional bond schools honored with ‘Stars of Distinction’

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Constructed as part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program, Condit Elementary School has been selected as one of five finalists vying for the highest honor offered by the 2017-18 Exhibit of School Architecture Competition.

Three additional bond campuses — Atherton Elementary School, Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, and Sterling Aviation High School — received Stars of Distinction.

The annual school architecture competition showcases new and renovated Texas schools and recognizes excellence in their planning and design. It is sponsored by the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards.

“We have a great team that provided VLK Architects with a framework that allowed them to be creative and make a really stellar design,” HISD General Manager for Facilities Design Dan Bankhead said. “They really captured our vision for Condit. It is an exceptional building.”

Condit is among 40 schools across the district selected to be renovated or rebuilt as part of the district’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. The original school was roughly 100 years old when it was tapped to be rebuilt under the bond program. It was completed and opened to students in time for the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

The $24.3 million project called for an 83,000-square-foot school that would accommodate up to 750 students and a growing Spanish dual language program. The new school features a centralized learning commons surrounded by a two-story cluster of classrooms, an open-concept design with bright colors, curved walls with seating nooks, and plenty of natural light throughout.

Twenty-seven projects from two dozen school districts across the state received 2017 Stars of Distinction. The honor was awarded in various categories, including community, planning, transformation, design, value, and sustainability.

Five of those projects — including Condit — received at least four stars, making them finalists in the competition to be named part of the Caudill Class, the highest level of recognition offered. The distinction is named after late Texas architect William Wayne Caudill, whose progressive concepts continue to influence school design.

VLK Project Architect Tim Kunz said the firm is excited about the nomination and attributes their success at Condit to establishing and maintaining good rapport with the community throughout the planning process.

“We really get everyone’s input when we go through our design process,” Kunz said, describing how they developed the design concept for Condit’s learning commons. “The main theme for Condit was that it’s the ribbon that ties education and community together. We wanted to make sure we incorporated the community’s ideas.”

Projects will be on display during the Texas Association of School Administrators and Texas Association of School Boards convention, which will be held from Oct. 6 to 8 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. Caudill Class winners will be announced at the Texas Association of School Administrators Midwinter Conference in Austin in January.

HISD Stars of Distinction:

Condit Elementary School: 2012 Bond, VLK Architects

* Design, Community, Planning, School Transformation

Mandarin Immersion Magnet School: 2012 Bond, PBK

* Community, Planning

Sterling Aviation High School: 2012 Bond, Stantec

* Sustainability, Community, School Transformation

Atherton ES: 2007 Bond, IDG Architects, Inc.

* Design, Value, Sustainability