2017—Keller High School

Keller ISD—Keller High School
Architect: VLK Architects

This revered campus has a rich history and strong traditions spanning over three decades. Numerous additions during fast growth left it with a taxed internal circulation system, a diminished front entry, and an insufficient array of programmatic spaces. The renovation successfully realized the unification of departments, modernization of function and learning, and created a refreshed interior and identifiable entrance. Campus branding preserved and reinforced the school’s rich history.


The design provided for consolidated and enlarged administrative functions, a secure front entry, an identifiable front door, consolidated and modernized fine arts, additional classrooms, updated science labs, flexible multi-purpose student commons, and the introduction of student collaboration spaces. Student circulation was improved by reversing classroom door swings, the introduction of a new grand staircase, and opening up corridor intersections. New finishes united the multiple additions.


Relocation of the existing band hall as a new fine arts addition permitted consolidation and relocation of the administrative functions to the front door and the introduction of a second floor classroom wing under the existing roof, saving considerable cost. Infill of the tiered dining area provided for a multi-functional and larger student commons. The well-choreographed construction sequence reduced construction duration and the need for temporary space, saving building funds.


Renovation was preferred versus new construction for the majority of the project. Local, regional, low maintenance and low VOC products were utilized. The existing mechanical and electrical systems were replaced or enhanced to meet new energy codes. The existing build-up roof was replaced with a reflective single-ply roof with increased R-value. The site disturbance was minimized by the compact addition. Portions of the second story were built in the existing volume reducing impact on the site.


Renovation of the existing high school embodied the campus’ value to the district and celebrated its unique heritage. Improvements brought parity to the district’s newest high schools and equalized students’ learning experiences and staff’s resources. Neighborhood to an improved learning environment and learning opportunities provided for increased student pride, parental involvement and business support. Reinvestment strengthened the schools connection with alumni.


A carefully crafted planning process gave voice to the tightly-knit community of students, educators, parents, and administrators through a multi-step charrette and gaming process. The community’s goals, preferred imagery, and values were identified through a hands-on, consensus building forum. Community buy-in in the design process and constant communication yielded endurance of a complicated, multi-phased, imposing construction effort which included a complete summer shut down of the campus.

School Transformation

The campus was comprised of the original building and multiple additions. The renovations unite academic programs and create an exchange of ideas through flexible spaces while housing the district’s academic programs. Developing a new front entrance allows for centralized office, efficient circulation and incorporates visual and physical security. Elements of the school’s rich history were extracted and reincorporated to maintain the school’s proud history and identity.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner