VLK Celebrates Dedication Ceremony for Martha Lopez Aki ECI Project TYKE Facility
(Katy, Texas) - On Monday, Oct. 18, VLK Architects, Joeris Construction, and Katy Independent School District community members celebrated the dedication of the Martha Lopez Aki Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Project Teach Your Kids Early (TYKE) Facility. The facility is home to two functions, including the Project TYKE (Teach Your Kids Early) program to provide education for parents in the community that have children with special needs and a Professional Development Center for district faculty, staff, and administration training. ECI Project TYKE has been providing services to approximately 15,000 children and their families since 1998.
Martha Lopez Aki, the namesake of this facility, is a vital part of the district. For 40 years, she served KISD as an Early Intervention Specialist, a teacher for auditory impaired students, an early childhood special education teacher, and a kindergarten teacher. In addition, she worked for the KISD ECI Project TYKE program for more than 28 years. Under Aki’s leadership, the KISD program developed a group coaching model incorporating parent, child, and provider. Her model was taught to other ECI Texas programs.
“We are very proud of the Martha Lopez Aki ECI project designed by VLK,” said Lisa Kassman, Executive Director of Facilities and Planning for Katy ISD. “The facility meets the needs of the program along with honoring Ms. Aki.”
On Feb. 24, 2020, the KISD Board of Trustees awarded a contract to VLK Architects, Inc. for the design services required to repurpose the former L.D. Robinson Pavilion Agriculture Facility. The KISD remodel of the former L.D. Robinson Pavilion has provided expanded space for the ECI Project TYKE program. This ECI facility was purposely designed to meet the needs of the services that are created to identify and meet a child’s needs in five developmental areas, including physical development, cognitive development, communication, social or emotional development, and adaptive development.
“Providing a permanent home for the TYKE program within the district was a major goal of this project and the fact that we were able to repurpose the existing LD Robinson AG facility into a beautiful space for early childhood education made it very special,” said Todd Lien, Managing Partner of VLK Architects.
The 25,250 SF facility is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure the highest quality of service is provided to the students. It also includes classrooms, therapy rooms, evaluation rooms, office spaces, cubicles, a lounge, and meeting spaces for the district. The completion date for the Martha Lopez Aki ECI Project TYKE Facility was February 2021.