Strong Traditions, New Beginnings at Keller High School
Keller, Texas - VLK proudly announces the opening of the additions and renovations to Keller High School. On August 23rd, students began the 2016-2017 school year in a newly transformed state-of-the-art facility.
Since its inception in 1984, Keller High School has been the focal point of the district's continued mission to be 'Intentionally Exceptional.' Transforming the facility that had been pieced together through various individual renovations over the years was a challenge. VLK met the district's expectations by hosting a design charrette to refine and discuss specific features that the community hoped to see in the revitalized Keller High School. The additions and renovations included a 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 help support modern educational practices for students and staff.
"The charrette process provided our design team with a valuable understanding of values that the Keller High School community holds dear," said Leesa Vardeman, VLK Principal. "The resulting design solution is a synthesis of respecting the cherished past and investing in a limitless future."
In addition to the facility's technical renovations, it was important to recognize and respect the rich history and tradition that has become the embodiment of Keller High School whose motto is 'A Tradition of Excellence.' VLK Architects combined students, parents, and KHS staff to form a Keller High School branding committee to investigate the artwork that was evident across the campus and identify sacred items that needed preservation, as well as determine the logos and symbols that reflect the great spirit of Keller High School.
"During my last two years of high school I had the pleasure of serving on the executive council on which we worked with VLK Architects during the charrette process. I served on the branding committee," said Avery Burke, Keller High School graduate. "I spent four years here, and Keller High School has been a place where I can explore my passions, excel academically, and meet lifelong friends. It was important for me to leave a lasting impact on the school, especially for my sister, who is a junior here. I want to make sure she has the best experience."
Preserved items include the existing terrazzo indian head logo, which was located just inside the main entry, the benches outside, and the brick paver dedications located just outside the new lecture hall addition. Symbols and logos that were identified as important to communicate within the architecture were the spear, the glowing blue lights of the water tower, big 'K,' and the KHS Indianhead. A new identifiable main entrance was at the top of the list of areas that needed improvement. With the Keller High School crest on the floor and a glowing blue water tower light fixture, the front entryway now shines blue, as well as a wall of honor which will be on display in the student commons.
"VLK did a masterful job of facilitating conversations to engage all stakeholders to be thoughtful in the renovations for Keller High School. The charrette challenged our assumptions and allowed us to develop a unified vision for our school," said Dr. Michael Nasra, Keller High School Principal.
The additions and renovations to the KHS campus total 66,000 square feet and can serve up to 3,000 students.