Ben Barber Career Tech Academy, PHOTO © Paul Chaplo
Number of students served
TASA/TASB Value Award
TASA/TASB Educational Appropriateness Award
TASA/TASB Process of Planning Award
Ben Barber Career Tech Academy in Mansfield ISD is a unique facility, blending career prep courses with the academic courses taught in context of the workplace. It is designed to serve all four of the District’s high schools.Math. Science. Social Studies. English. These and other core academic subjects take on a new kind of relevance at Ben Barber. Here, routine assignments are infused with a sense of purpose, and abstract concepts suddenly become practical steps toward achieving a goal. Integrated career programs include:
- Agricultural Science and Technology
- Art, Communication and Media Technology
- Business and Marketing Technology
- Health Science Technology
- Human Development, Management and Services Technology
- Industrial and Engineering Technology
- Personal and Protective Services
Huckabee assisted MISD in designing the facility's instructional program. Each career path includes coursework that is academic, technological and occupational in nature - three distinct elements that demand special consideration during the design phase. By working closely with the District, the Huckabee team was able to translate their educational needs into an effective, efficient building design that addresses every detail.
In addition to the many special programmatic elements to this facility, the District also desired to construct a facility with a 50- to 75-year life cycle. This was accomplished by providing a building with high quality and durable materials throughout. To complete this high performance design and answer the demand for durability, the design team selected masonry materials throughout. The exterior walls are a double-wythe solid masonry system with interior masonry partitions at hard use areas. Indoor air quality is exceptional due to the masonry material selected and its resistance to mold & mildew issues. The District also wanted to achieve a degree of flexibility in the design; therefore, interior partitions in the classrooms were installed under the lay-in ceiling and air ducts were installed with flex connections to facilitate easy remodeling if program courses are modified and room arrangements need to be made. Also, large areas around the building were designated as expansion areas for future programs.