Awty International School Student Center
The Awty International School Student Center dramatically reshapes the existing campus serving 1400 students in grades 2 – 12 in Houston, Texas.
We share Churchill’s conviction that we shape our buildings, and thereafter, they shape us.
Long gone are the days of the one-room schoolhouse, yet the role these buildings serve in their communities is largely unchanged. Indeed, in many neighborhoods, the school is the community. Even at the university level, educational facilities today are fulfilling more and diverse needs for learners and the public alike. Harvey | Harvey-Cleary understands that a successful educational project is not possible without strong community involvement.
If schools today seem more like a commercial campus, it’s by design. With flexible and open layouts, K-12 and higher education facilities are now better able to foster collaboration and innovation, hallmarks of student-centered learning. And keeping students top of mind is one of the biggest benefits clients receive when working with Harvey.
Education projects are often long in the making due to capital fundraising campaigns. Before project budgeting even begins, Harvey’s focus is on determining the long-term goals. Working alongside the design team, we facilitate active listening sessions with administrators, users, and the community stakeholders. We consider this preplanning the most critical part of every project because it guides a future that may be built over decades.
Another resource we rely on for early project input is the client’s maintenance team. Few people know how a school building actually “lives” than those who watch it in action, care for it daily, and perform annual checkups. In addition to beneficial data on maintenance requirements, they provide a snapshot of building operations at different times throughout the year. This valuable input informs design decisions that yield a facility that’s easier and more affordable to operate and maintain.
During design until final occupancy, Harvey is responsible for safeguarding the project budget. We know stakeholders speak with their wallets and that our clients are committed to a price tag that may have uncontrollable variables. Harvey budgets for the big picture; we take into account the potential for price escalation over the duration of fundraising and through construction. We account for operational costs over the lift of the building. We help clients make smart budgetary decisions in keeping with their goals. Sometimes these decisions may take the form of building vertical to maximize the available site, or of using less expensive finishes in order to get the best possible A/V equipment or committing the necessary budget to a pricier turf field in anticipation of a future move to a more competitive league. Every decision hinges on the question – is this what’s best for our students?
We share Churchill’s conviction that we shape our buildings, and thereafter, they shape us. We’re fortunate in the United States that educational buildings are one of the few that every person will occupy for a part of their life. Together with our clients, their communities, and the project team, we commit to building schools that improve the lives of all who pass through them.