Multi-purpose arena designed for 9,500 maximum capacity with 8,300 fixed seats; [seating]
Floor banquet seating and catering facility to accommodate the preparation and serving of 1,000 meals;
Handicap accessible, including parking and 4 public elevators;
Complete loading dock, backstage marshaling area, star and support dressing areas;
Over 4,000 space parking area;
Administrative office space.
Provides facilities for:
Instructional activities for students;
District-wide staff development for teachers;
Extra and co-curricular activities, performances and competitions;
Catering and banquets for honors, awards and celebrations;
4,000 space parking area; and
Five Facilities in One:
Satellite Food Production Center
The Richard E. Berry Educational Support Center (Berry Center) was funded by the 2001 Bond Referendum. This project was one of the nine schools and five support facilities, the bond package that the community-led bond steering committee recommended by passing the bond election in December 2001. The Berry Center relieved the demand for facilities for district-wide staff development for teachers and staff; graduation ceremonies; extra- and co-curricular activities, performances and competitions (choir, band, drama, UIL competitions, athletic events); and catering and banquets for honors, awards, and celebrations, as well as addressed community needs for meetings, events, and receptions. The Berry Center is available for non-district events such as concerts, business meetings, parties, and performances, subject to policies and guidelines for use of the facility. The 65-acre site that is also home to the district’s second athletic stadium is located at Barker Cypress and West Road. As a result of combining both facilities on the same site, the district realized a savings by sharing the parking lot.
Richard E. Berry was announced as the namesake for the Educational Support Center in October 2002. The Board of Trustees of the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD) voted unanimously at its October 15, 2003 meeting to name the district’s future multipurpose educational center in honor of superintendent of schools, Rick Berry. The Richard E. Berry Educational Support Center (Berry Center) was approved as part of the $470.5 million bond referendum approved by voters December 8, 2001. The announcement was made to the surprise of the superintendent. “There are no secrets in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD – that was true until tonight”, Berry said, joking lightly after the Board voted 7-0 to name the facility in his honor. “This is an absolute honor. I am truly at a loss for words.”
Berry earned his Associate of Arts degree in business from Weatherford Junior College in 1965 and his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from North Texas State University in 1967. He later earned a Master of Education degree in counseling from Hardin-Simmons University in 1971. With 35 years in public education, Berry began his career in education as a high school teacher and coach in Roscoe Independent School District in 1968. He moved to Arlington Independent School District (AISD) in 1971 where he served as counselor, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent before he was named superintendent of schools in 1988. He was named superintendent in CFISD in 1992 and held that position until he retired in 2004.
A Brief History
The idea for the Richard E. Berry Educational Support Center (Berry Center) and a second athletic stadium was conceived by the community members who served on the 2001 Bond Steering Committee. Nine new schools, five support facilities (including the Berry Center), instructional technology, and numerous renovation projects were included in the 2001 Bond Referendum that was overwhelmingly approved by 84.8% of district voters in December 2001.
For years the district rented facilities for graduation and other large district events such as convocations, choral performances and teacher 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 ninth and tenth high schools opening in 2008, it would be impossible to play all the varsity football games at Pridgeon Stadium. For these reasons, the Bond Steering Committee recommended an educational support center and a second athletic stadium 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 production distribution warehouse into one complex, resulting in a $4.2 million savings by combining parking.
A Partnership For Success
The complex was designed by PBK Architects, Inc. along with their design consultant, HOK Sport Venue Event. The facilities were built by SpawGlass Construction. The total construction cost for the five facilities (arena, stadium, theater, conference center, and food production center) located at the Berry Center was $84 million. The Berry Center opened in May 2006 with Beth Wade, CFE, as General Manager.