Richard E. Berry Education Support Center is a new state-of-the-art multi-purpose facility located in the Houston suburb of Cypress, Harris County, Texas. The facility features an 11,000 seat outdoor stadium, an 8,328 seat arena, a 16,100 square foot conference center and a 456 theatre and all the amenities to make it a point of pride for everyone in Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District.
In addition to being the home field for all 8 district high schools in the district, this facility also hosts the district UIL and community competitions, exhibition, concerts, meetings, banquets and a number of other exciting quality attractions.
The idea for an Richard E. Berry Educational Support Center and a second athletic stadium was conceived by the community members who served on the 2001 Bond Steering Committee. This project was one of the nine new schools and five support facilities along with instructional technology and numerous renovations included in the 2001 Bond Referendum that was overwhelmingly approved by 84.8% of district voters in December 2001.
For years the district has rented facilities for graduation and other large district events such as convocations, choral performances and district training. For example, in 2005, the graduation ceremonies were held at Reliant Stadium at a cost to the Cy-Fair community of more than $170,000 in facilities rental fees, parking fees, and fuel costs. With the addition of our eighth high school opening in 2006 and our ninth and tenth high schools opening in 2008, it would be impossible to play all the football games at Pridgeon Stadium. With more than 7,000 teachers and professional staff, there is no facility large enough to hold a district convocation. For these reasons, the Bond Steering committee recommended these support facilities be included in the bond referendum. After voter approval of the referendum, the Board of Trustees decided to put the Richard E. Berry Educational Support Center, the Athletic Stadium along with the Food Product Distribution Warehouse into one complex, resulting in a $4.2 million dollar savings from combining parking. The total current construction cost for the five facilities located at the Berry Center complex was $72.9 million and it is anticipated additional construction savings will be achieved upon completion of the project closeout. The total projected final costs for the project will be approximately 6% below the budget amount presented to the voters.
The Berry Center sits on 65 acres of land centrally located in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.
The complex is owned by the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. The current elected School Board members include representatives from District 1, Al Martinez, Jr.; District 2, Albert Arechiga III; District 3, Lou Bertoli, Vice President; District 4, Lida Woodul, District 5, Dr. John Ogletree, Secretary; District 5, Don Ryan, President; District 6, Bob Covey and Dr. David Anthony, Superintendent of Schools, Executive Director. For more information about the functions of CFISD go to www.cfisd.net.
The complex was designed by the PBK Architects, Inc. along with their design consultant, HOK Sport Venue. The facilities were built by SpawGlass Construction
The Berry Center, opened in May 2006, overseen by Pamela Wells, Associate Superintendent for General Administration, H.D. Chambers, Director of General Administration and Beth Wade, CFE, General Manager.