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Portfolio: Public Buildings Whatley Agriculture Complex Project Elizabeth Hoggatt Whatley Agriculture Complex, Mount Pleasant Client Northeast Texas Community College Architect VLK Architects Design Team Leesa Vardeman, AIA; Sloan Harris, AIA; Chad Davis, AIA; Clinton Schiver, AIA; Brian Sahrmann, AIA Construction Manager Harrison, Walker & Harper Consultants CHA (civil/structural); Reed, Wells, Benson & Company (MEP) Photographer Chad Davis, AIA

Designed by VLK Architects, Whatley Agriculture Complex on the campus of Northeast Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant is a single-story 8,600-sf steel-framed structure. The $3.3 million project houses three multifunction classrooms, a teaching kitchen, a soils lab, a computer lab, four offices, and support spaces. The pavilion is a 11,500-sf open-sided structure for outdoor teaching, conferences, and community events. Master-planned facilities include a maintenance shop, a student dorm, and greenhouse.  Designed to achieve “net zero” energy use, the project is the first LEED Platinum-certified agricultural facility in the country. The building was designed to be a teaching tool for sustainability. A wind turbine and photovoltaic solar arrays generate on-site energy, and a rainwater catchment basin helps educate students about irrigation and water sources. An interactive energy dashboard in the lobby displays the energy input versus output for the facility. The site design minimizes the building’s impact on the land by using a mixture of fly ash and bottom ash, donated by a local power plant for the permeable parking lot. The mechanical and MDF rooms include windows to the lobby for students and visitors to see the systems at work. Due to this transparency, what could have been just a mechanical room is now an “alternative energy laboratory.” 




First Floor Plan 1 Lobby 2 Alternative Energy Lab 3 Classroom 4 Teaching Kitchen 5 Electrical 6 Storage 7 Workroom 8 Office 9 Portable Bleachers 10 Covered Pavilion



5 9 6


7 9

Noelle Heinze

8 8


units: Featherlite ; roof and wall panels/fascia and 10

soffit panels: Petersen

Aluminum Corp.; mem-


brane roofing: Carlisle

Syntec; entrances and


storefronts: United States

Aluminum/C.R. Laurence Co.; tile : Marazzi; acoustical ceilings: Armstrong ; paint :

Sherwin Williams; exterior sun control : greenscreen ; blinds: Levolor; solar energy systems: Schott

Solar (Axium Solar); software : Autodesk

3/4 2012

Texas Architect 63

Texas Architect March/April 2012: Destinations