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Five Stantec schools in Texas receive Stars of Distinction

Shadow Creek High School, Northwest ISD Outdoor Learning Center, and McKinney North High School to advance as finalists for the Caudill Class


Stantec continues its legacy of award-winning education projects by receiving Stars of Distinction for five of its projects, with three of those projects being recognized as Caudill Class finalists. In total, Stantec projects won 16 of the 60 Stars of Distinction awarded this year by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).

Shadow Creek High School, Northwest ISD Outdoor Learning Center, and McKinney North High School make up more than half of this year’s finalists for the Caudill Class, which is the highest honor awarded by TASA and TASB as it pertains to planning and design of Texas public education facilities.

To qualify for the Caudill Class, facilities are evaluated in six areas of distinction that are one star each: community, design, planning, sustainability, value, and school transformation. Stars of Distinction are awarded to projects for excellence in specific categories, and projects that demonstrate excellence in four or more categories are eligible for the Caudill Class award.

Since the award was founded in 1991, Stantec projects have won 12 Caudills, more than any other firm.

“We work extraordinarily hard to understand our client’s goals, imagine new possibilities together and strive for excellence in every single design,” said Tom Oehler, vice president and education sector leader for Stantec in Texas. “We are honored to receive 16 Stars of Distinction and qualify for three Caudills. Design plays a critical role in how schools function from a curricular standpoint, and Shadow Creek High School, Northwest ISD Outdoor Learning Center, and McKinney North High School represent the diversity of design at which our firm excels.”

The following Stantec projects received Stars of Distinction:

Shadow Creek High School: Alvin ISD’s Shadow Creek High School acknowledges that the learning environment must be flexible to support changing learning models. This 500,000-square-foot school removes physical barriers, incorporates collaboration space, and has an abundance of technology. Transparency and natural light create a connection to nature to support physical and emotional security. By breaking down the learning setting into smaller learning houses, the school fosters culture and community while promoting new educational experiences. Shadow Creek High School received Stars of Distinction for: design, value, planning, and school transformation.

Northwest ISD Outdoor Learning Center: Because of the cost to outsource its outdoor education, Northwest ISD decided to invest in the construction of its own outdoor learning center to serve up to 500 students per day on 193 rural acres in its own district. The Outdoor Learning Center location includes a large creek, ponds, waterways, cliffs, prairies, woodlands, and wetlands – each environment offers endless opportunities for teaching and learning. A great hall and pavilions provide gathering spaces for outdoor education and also serve as a revenue generator for events such as summer camp and weddings. Northwest ISD Outdoor Learning Center received Stars of Distinction for: design, value, sustainability, and community.

McKinney North High School: The renovation of this 25-year-old high school started with gathering input from more than 100 members of the community. McKinney ISD’s McKinney North High School aspired to support a wide variety of enrichment programs, which led the team to work closely with two colleges, three hospitals, 20 businesses, and 40 professionals to develop mentorship opportunities, certifications, and internships. Areas of circulation were converted into learning spaces that expanded beyond the classroom, and renovations increased campus safety, security, and improved circulation and flow. McKinney North High School received Stars of Distinction for: design, community, planning, and school transformation.

Sterling Aviation High School: Career and college readiness is a key priority for Houston ISD, which is emulated in the Sterling Aviation High School. The 242,00-square-foot school produces the next generation of pilots, mechanics, engineers, and aviation leaders. The learning spaces have a fluid form and function – walls move, visibility is high, and students choose their spaces. The combination of core academic courses and specialized career-focused courses helps students integrate learning and work-world experiences. Sterling Aviation High School received Stars of Distinction for: sustainability, community, and school transformation.

Copperfield Elementary School: Stantec designed Judson ISD’s Copperfield Elementary School to advance the exchange of knowledge through student/teacher interaction in a formal and informal environment. The 113,416-square-foot school is comprised of “pods” that are formed by six classroom spaces of the same grade level centered around an open “flex zone,” which allows for collaboration between students and teachers. The school’s sustainable and energy efficient design serves as a tangible example for students and the community to learn about sustainability practices. Copperfield Elementary School received Stars of Distinction for: value.

The projects will be on display in the Exhibit of School Architecture at the TASA/TASB Convention, to be held in Dallas at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center October 6-8.

About Stantec

We're active members of the communities we serve. That's why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.

The Stantec community unites approximately 22,000 employees working in over 400 locations across six continents. Our work—engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics, from initial project concept and planning through design, construction, and commissioning—begins at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. With a long-term commitment to the people and places we serve, Stantec has the unique ability to connect to projects on a personal level and advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

Media Contact
Laura Krinke
Stantec Media Relations
Phone: (651) 967-4697
Cel: (612) 357-6429

Shadow Creek High School

Northweswt ISD Outdoor Learning Center

Sterling Aviation High School

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