The first of its kind in Houston, Texas, Barbara Jordan High School for Careers
broke ground on Tuesday, May 9th at 1 pm, to celebrate the start of construction on their new building. Designed by Corgan, the new building will be home to a regional career hub and accommodate students from eight area high schools. Barbara Jordan will host two groups of students per school day; morning and afternoon shifts from surrounding high schools. Students will have the opportunity to participate in high-demand career training providing them with real-world experience in a variety of fields.
AJ Sustaita, Corgan Project Manager, was also in attendance. AJ cited several innovative design strategies and solutions used in the design of the new school. The site posed a challenge as it sits on a flood plain where a large retention pond had formed. The design team implemented Low Impact Development (LID) to the site and created a unique series of dry-creeks around the school dispersing water collection in a more appealing way. Barbara Jordan is not a traditional school. Students are bused in each day for class but return to their home campuses. To accommodate the unique nature of the school’s operations, Corgan designed a Career Exploration Theater that includes a learning stair and an exhibition space where the school can host events such as career fairs, assemblies, trade shows and conferences. A Student Business Center was also incorporated which includes work spaces and a conference room.
Barbara Jordan partnered with the community and local businesses to offer hiring opportunities. Additionally, they offer coaching for students entering the workforce and the facility serves as a place for students to participate in interview prep and gain career advice.
Barbara Jordan is one of the projects funded by the voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. It is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools, being renovated or rebuilt as part of the bond program. While Barbara Jordan is only one part of the larger bond program, it is a high-profile project for the district; being a replacement school, the first of its kind in Houston and sitting at the intersection of two major highways.
Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Secretary on the Board of Education also attended the event stating, “We must fill these buildings with programs [for students] that reflect Barbara Jordan; and we are.”
Read more about Barbara Jordan High School for Careers here
All photo courtesy Dave Einsel