A rendering of the Meridian Tower.

Meridiana, a 5,000-6,000 home master-planned community in Iowa Colony and Manvel, Tex., is set to feature a series of “learning labs” among its amenities, which developer Rise Communities defines as “parks and playgrounds” that incorporate quick educational lessons. These labs were developed in cooperation with Alvin Independent School District teachers, and four of them are planned for Meridiana’s first phase.

The community’s focal point will be the Meridian Tower, a 60-foot solar moon clock developed in conjunction with Professor Dan Lester, an astrophysicist at the University of Texas. The tower creates a “sun spot” that moves with the earth’s orbit and rotation, allowing residents to determine the date each day at noon.

“There are so many communities in Houston, how do we stand out?” [Matt Lawson, VP of Rise Communities] said. “Everyone builds parks and trails, but wanted to separate ourselves by tying education in our amenities.”

The master-plan contains Meridiana Elementary School, which opened this August. Rise Communities is in talks with school district officials to develop more schools and learning labs in the community.
Read more >