Kate Egan is a design specialist and architect who focuses on educational planning. She supports districts through their whole project – from the early days of developing a pre-referendum vision to working with the design team to ensure that vision is reflected in the building. Her recent work includes new construction, additions, and renovations with the Neenah, Waukesha, and Mayville school districts.
What Kate loves most about her job are the opportunities to work with school administrators and teachers to help them develop goals for their projects. “My role requires frequent communication with the school district,” she says. “I ask them questions like: How are you delivering education to your students? What is your educational vision? My job is to figure out how we can give them flexible, creative, and collaborative spaces that enhance the education they’re delivering and improve the environment for both students and staff.”
Kate knew since childhood that she wanted to be an architect. “I remember drawing a floor plan in one of my eighth-grade classes and having a lot of fun doing it,” she says. In high school, she worked in a real estate office where she was constantly reviewing floor plans. She went on to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture. But it wasn’t until graduate school that Kate realized she wanted to focus on the planning and research side of architecture. Since then, Kate has conducted numerous studies on how people use space including post occupancy evaluations.
She has been adopting some of her past research experience to her role as an educational planner. “It’s amazing that views to nature and access to natural lighting can improve student test scores and emotional well-being,” she says. “These are relatively easy things to incorporate into a new building but not all spaces in existing buildings have access to natural light. We try to add it whenever we can.”
One of Kate’s favorite experiences at Bray has been working with the School District of Waukesha to improve the schools she attended as a child. “To improve my high school and elementary school, and to transform portions of my middle school, that will be tough to top,” she says.
Outside of the office, Kate enjoys spending time with her husband and two young sons. Whether it’s participating in Cub Scouts events, attending soccer and basketball games, or just staying home and building with Legos, Kate’s kids keep her busy. She and her family also like to travel, and they are currently planning a trip to Disney World.
Congratulations, Kate, on celebrating five years at Bray. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to design excellence!