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Newest Katy ISD Elementary School Named for Peter McElwain


February 25, 2020

By Jennifer Miko

At last night’s Katy ISD Board of Trustees meeting, the Board announced that the district’s newest elementary school, #43, would be named for former District Architect Peter McElwain.

Photo: Katy ISD

McElwain joined Katy ISD in 1998. Over the course of his career, he and his team planned, designed and constructed 40 different schools in the district. McElwain has expressed that his design goals included ensuring that students would prepare for their futures in facilities that provided progressive and innovative learning environments.

If You Build It…

McElwain was the visionary leader for the newest school’s prototype. This fall, the state-of-the-art building, located in the northeast quadrant of the district, in the Elyson subdivision, will carry his name.

They Will Come

In 1998, when McElwain joined the district, the student enrollment was only 28,000. He was responsible for all facility planning, design, construction, property acquisition, maintenance, operations and energy management.

As Katy and school enrollment grew, McElwain hired and worked with a talented team to plan, design and construct 25 elementary schools, nine junior highs and six high schools. The group also managed comprehensive renovations at multiple schools, additions at existing campuses and the opening of several support and administrative facilities.

Awards and Recognitions

The Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards regularly recognized the campus and facility projects created and developed under McElwain’s leadership. He was also named “Citizen of the Year” in 2017 by the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce.

In 2016, Katy Magazine selected McElwain as one of its “People of the Year.”

“It is recognized that Katy ISD is one of the main reasons that families move to Katy, and on behalf of our team, I am proud of the contribution which we have had in creating exciting and supportive environments for our students,” McElwain said in the article.

See the full Katy Magazine story here.

McElwain retired from Katy ISD in 2017.  By then, the district enrollment had increased to 75,000 students.

McElwain and his wife, Darlene, have one daughter who is a Katy ISD graduate. Now in retirement, he continues to support student learning and has written, illustrated and published two children’s books.


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