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VLK’s design for Allen ISD STEAM Center earns Caudill Award

VLK Architects has received the Caudill Award, the highest honor in the Texas Association of School Administrators Texas Association of School Boards Exhibit of School Architecture competition, for its work on Allen ISD’s STEAM.

The jury noted the design of the Allen STEAM Center stood out due to its “innovation that solved community needs and enrollment growth while looking to the horizon for determining future student interests and skills” and how the “total shift in culture occurred with an explosion of STEAM interest across the district.”

Allen STEAM was also the only project in the EoSA Competition that received all six Stars of Distinction awards, VLK said in a news release.

“The Allen ISD STEAM Center is a unique facility that empowers our students to engage in experiential learning. From the tranquil outdoor trails and pond, the hands-on makerspace labs, and the carefully planned science labs and classrooms, the STEAM Center provides our students the opportunity to engage in future-focused STEAM lessons and activities,” said Robyn Bullock, superintendent of the Allen ISD. “We are proud to have partnered with VLK throughout the design process to create our one-of-a-kind facility that is helping build innovative and collaborative skillsets for all students.”

The Allen ISD STEAM Center design provides a foundational system, purposely created to promote curiosity, cultivate future-ready skills, and prepare students for success.

The center offers specialized areas such as engineering and robotics labs, computer labs with maintenance programs, science and physics labs, math-specific classrooms, and architecture and interior design studios.

Collaboration areas, shared spaces, and huddle rooms are situated throughout the facility to provide various places for group projects.

The Allen STEAM Center also recently received a Merit Award at the 2020 American Institute of Architects Fort Worth Excellence in Architecture: Design Awards.

“We are so proud to have received the Caudill Award in recognition of this incredible project,” said Sloan Harris, CEO/Partner of VLK Architects. “Our team’s exploration and research in what this facility could be founded the design that became real innovation in a learning environment, centered around Allen ISD’s bold vision for this one-of-a-kind school. We are grateful for the partnership with Allen ISD and to be a part of this project.”

Texas architect William Wayne Caudill (1914-1983) is the namesake for the award. TASA and TASB facilitate Caudill Award at the Exhibit of School Architecture competition. Each project can receive up to six Stars of Distinction to qualify for the Caudill award. Stars of Distinction are awarded based on the project’s design, value, sustainability, community, planning, and school transformation.

Each project will be honored at the annual 2021 TASA Midwinter Conference, held virtually from Jan. 25-27.

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