By Lisa Kopochinski
ALLEN, Texas – On September 24, the Allen Independent School District in Texas celebrated the dedication of its new STEAM Center in Allen, located 23 miles north of Dallas.
Designed by VLK, the impressive new STEAM Center supports innovative instruction across the district, offering Kindergarteners to 12th-grade students 111,000 square feet of increased exposure to science, technology, engineering, art, and math-integrated experiences. The Center supports a rich integrated learning experience, which includes many dynamic indoor and outdoor learning spaces.
Cadence McShane Construction of Addison, Texas, was the general contractor on this impressive project.
“Today, we came together to commemorate one of the most unique learning centers in the nation,” said Daniel Pitcock, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, Allen ISD. “Now the Center is fully operating to serve every learning level in this district.”
In January, the first class of students kicked off the inaugural K-8 program at the STEAM Center. This fall, the Center commenced the high school program. This campus aims to expand student interests and future workforce needs in STEAM-related areas. STEAM Center courses are designed to instill future- ready skills including collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication and project management. Additionally, opportunities for problem- and project-based learning, as well as interdisciplinary learning, are strongly encouraged.
VLK Architects, which has offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso, and Houston, Texas provides architecture, planning and interior design services to K-12, higher education, corporate and institutional clients.
“This marks the full realization of Allen ISD’s ambitious vision for its STEAM program,” said Sloan Harris, Partner, VLK Architects. “It’s been an extraordinary journey for both the district and VLK, but the real rewards will be evident in years to come as this Center plays a profound role in the development of tomorrow’s leaders in STEAM industries.”
Student enrollment has more than doubled since 1989 in the Allen Independent School District, which serves than 20,780 in grades K-12. Students attend one of 18 elementary schools, three middle schools, one freshman center, and one high school staffed by 2,660 Allen ISD employees.