We intentionally designed this center to feel like a 3D textbook bridging the gap between the educational and professional worlds
Located outside of Houston, Texas, the James Reese Career and Technical Center (CTC) responds to the Fort Bend Independent School District’s desire for more career exploration opportunities and enhanced partnerships with local businesses.
As prime architect, we intentionally designed the CTC to feel like a professional commercial environment, replicating spaces students will see in the workforce. Organizing the building around four career communities, we gave each its own shared breakout and classroom spaces, teacher work rooms, and libraries. Strategically placed multipurpose spaces allow for independent study while also encouraging collaboration.
However, construction unearthed a historic cemetery where 95 individuals believed to be part of a convict-leasing program in the late 1800s following the abolition of slavery were buried. A task force was established to determine how to respectfully respond to the discovery. Ultimately, the Sugar Land 95 were reinterred with dignity, laid to rest where their remains were originally found. To honor and respect the cemetery, our team de-scoped and redesigned approximately 31,000 SF of planned instructional space.
In the end, the new facility provides classrooms, labs, and collaboration space to support multiple career-advancing programs and promote continued economic growth in the community.
At a Glance
- TASA/TASB Awards, Caudill Finalist, Stars of Distinction: Design, Value, Community, Planning, 2020
- Learning By Design Architectural Awards, Honorable Mention, 2020
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