New Beginnings at Keller High's Dedication Ceremony

Keller, Texas - On Friday, September 16th, VLK Architects attended a dedication ceremony commemorating the new additions and renovations to Keller High School. The design of the facility, originally built in 1985, had an overarching theme of maintaining the rich history, while modernizing it to accommodate next generation learning practices.

This Keller High project is the product of Keller ISD's 2014 bond referendum. Community members, district administrators, school board members, teachers, and staff gathered to celebrate the start of something new for this beloved and revered high school.

"We are very excited today to celebrate a physical change to our building, but the renovations and additions at Keller High School is symbolic of what is going on within these walls," said Keller High School Principal, Dr. Michael Nasra. "Our teachers and staff are holding onto traditions and sacred practices while still being innovative in our approach to the teaching and learning environment for our students."

The additions and renovations to Keller High School included adding a new secure front entry, renovated student commons, new band and orchestra halls, new administration offices, renovated science labs, additional classrooms, as well as new flexible and innovative learning spaces to aid in supporting various student learning styles.

"To have many conversations about what we were looking for and then see it come to fruition is really something special. All I can say is wow,'' said Dr. Randy Reid, Keller ISD Superintendent.

Reid went on to mention the determination of the partners that invested in this project from the beginning, which not only included the support of the community, but also the pride and determination VLK Architects took in developing the design of these new additions and renovations.

"When we select an architectural partner, we go through a big process, but sometimes it comes down to intangibles when you choose them," said Reid. "When Leesa Vardeman talked to us about her vision for Keller High School, you could see the passion in her eyes and the desire to take the history of Keller High School and wrap it into this new facility."

Leesa Vardeman, VLK Architects Principal, spoke at the ceremony and mentioned the long-standing, 30-year relationship VLK has had with Keller ISD. She expressed that a beneficial tool was the design charrette in assisting a tailored solution to a community deeply invested in the continued growth and success of Keller High School.

"The long held tradition of excellence here at Keller High School prompted us to develop a collaborative effort that would bring together representatives of the community, staff, administration, the board of trustees, and most importantly, the students of Keller High School who are so talented and creative to develop a list of goals for this particular facility and the concepts that we would employ," said Vardeman. "My personal career long goal for this campus has been to introduce a ray of sunshine into the student commons at the heart of the school. It was a great experience for me this Summer when Buford Thompson cut through the roof and we were able to see. We have learned to affectionately call that area the 'campfire,' and I hope you guys will enjoy it."

"We are so very proud of our partners in VLK and Buford Thompson as they have worked masterfully to engage our community and family members to recreate a uniform and modern Keller High School, equipping us with the facilities to meet the learning demands of the 21st Century," said Nasra. "This process has only made us stronger as a family. For that, I would like to thank you."