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900 S Kansas Ave Ste 200
HTK Architects has successfully provided clients with comprehensive architectural services since the firm was founded over 57 years ago. With offices in Topeka and Overland Park, our team continues to grow, completing new design, addition, and renovation proje... more.
HTK Architects | People
Keith Blackburn, AIA - Vice President
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HTK Architects | Keith Blackburn
Vice President [IMG] Keith Blackburn, AIA - Vice President View Profile
HTK Architects | Keith Blackburn Keith Blackburn, AIA Vice President Keith leads many of our Military, Government and Corporate projects, understanding the importance of maintaining budgets and delivering projects on time. He uses creative problem solving skills to provide sensible solutions for every facility. Keith is a proven leader, with a natural ability to motivate people while creating a fun environment for those around him.
Keith Blackburn, architect with HTK Architects, presented a draft of what those buildings might look like at the Abilene USD 435 Board of Educations regular meeting Monday.
Both buildings are a key part of the $24 million bond issue the board approved and will be on an April 1 ballot. He said the drawings of the elementary school and high school entrance at this point are just concepts and that the high school would probably have more window space for administration and fewer windows in the lobby. Blackburn said the elementary building is on one level just in case there would be future development at that location. One thing to consider is that when you build K through first grade, they have to be on the first level, he said. Blackburn said he is still working on a master plan for 15 to 30 years down the road. You dont want to put the building in the wrong place and not be able to expand it, if down the road they (the board) decide thats what they are going to do, he said. We dont want to build a new gymnasium and then in 20 years tear the building down, he said.
Keith Blackburn with HTK Architects, who has worked with the school board for several projects, presented the facility recommendations and a glimpse at facilities of the future.
The current facilities project that the board is contemplating would include a new elementary school to replace Garfield. The plans call for additions to that building to eventually replace McKinley and Kennedy elementary schools. Blackburn said the long-range plan also moves all elementary students, between 635 to 650 students, into one facility. The plan is set up so that we wouldnt have to go in and tear things down in 20 or 30 years when you guys want to do something with the high school, Blackburn said. Blackburn said he just duplicated the square footage of the current Abilene High School. I have no idea what the population would be, he said. He also said he has no idea of costs 20 years from now. The long-range plan also calls for the industrial arts building to be moved and there are two possible locations on the published plan, though there would only be one building. The tennis courts, which will also be 20 years older, will also have to be moved. Blackburn said the plan does not address a football practice field. He said the plan does not address moving the high school to a new location. I would imagine in 20 more years, you are not going to want to keep the old gym, Blackburn said, adding that a practice gym is in the current improvement plan and a competition gym would be in the long-range plans. However, Blackburn said, that in 30 years the way students are taught and the facilities needs may change. It (plan) doesnt accommodate curriculum changes and it doesnt accommodate if you wanted to move another group of kids; if you wanted to put your sixth graders in with the seventh and eighth. I dont have anything in here for that, he said. A lot of times there are curriculum changes and you end up having to renovate buildings. We almost have that here with MTSS (smaller group work). Who knows in 20 years how it is going to be set up? Blackburn said.
Keith Blackburn with HTK Architects rehashed recommendations made by a Citizens Advisory Committee but board members were unable to chop it down.
What has kept you going is that every year you have done some improvements, Blackburn said in praise of the board.