August 4, 2015

Katy ISD (KISD) Board members voted to approve the proposed scheme for a new student multipurpose activity center/stadium on Monday, July 27. Last December, the board selected HKS, with associate architect VLK, to design the complex that will be fully under construction in October 2015. 

The 12,000-seat venue will be built just north of the existing KISD Rhodes Stadium. The two facilities will function in tandem as part of an overall master plan to accommodate diverse community events — especially supporting sports and fine arts for the eight district high schools. 

“The vision for the Katy ISD stadium and student activity facility is to provide an integrated site that links and leverages the existing Rhodes Stadium while creating a parklike environment,” said Mark Vander Voort, project principal for HKS. 

A versatile plaza and green space, located between the two stadiums, will accommodate art fairs, exhibits and a variety of outdoor gatherings. 

“The new stadium is a distinctive high school venue that focuses on creating a greater experience for all,” Vander Voort said. “The upper seating bowl is elevated and positioned closer to the playfield than other similar venues. For fans, athletes and performers alike, it conveys a sense of intimacy and heightened experience. HKS has incorporated an open concourse design into the bowl, where patrons can see the field even when visiting the concession stands or other amenities.”

“Above the home stands is a signature press box with a unique tapered roof form that crowns the entire complex,” said Greg Whittemore, HKS project manager. “Designed specifically to function on one story, the press box is well equipped to support all users while offering exceptional views to the city.” 

The south end zone features a two-story field house that incorporates athletic offices and locker room. “The top-level multipurpose space is really a venue within a venue,” said Todd Lien, principal with VLK. “It will be used for many district and community occasions. It will serve professional development meetings, community gatherings, banquets and more. It overlooks the field from a patio deck that includes fixed seating.”  

A distinguishing feature is the perforated metal screen walls enclosing each concourse. These surfaces are semitransparent and provide weather protection. On game nights, the screen walls will be brightly illuminated to celebrate event fanfare, reflect school colors and express the spirit of each team.  

“This facility will be a high-performance venue for all users.” said Mark Williams, HKS Sports & Entertainment Group principal. “Katy ISD has a proud sports heritage, coupled with a family-oriented fan base and community that represents a loyal following.  The new stadium and site development will leverage both of these and provide the premier high school athletic and patron experience. It will be a wonderful and beloved venue that represents the culture and spirit of the dynamic Katy community.” 

HKS, Inc. is a leading architectural design firm ranked among the top six architectural engineering firms, according to Building Design+Construction magazine. Since its founding in 1939, HKS has completed construction projects totaling more than $77 billion in more than 1,650 cities located in 84 countries. The firm operates from 27 offices worldwide. For more information, contact Trish Martineck at

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