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A Golden Anniversary

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In 2017, Huckabee commemorates our 50th anniversary. We have proudly served Texas students, educators and communities for five decades. Our legacy is one we are honored to uphold.

We have a year of celebrations planned, and we look forward to the opportunity to reflect on the people, projects and moments that shaped our firm. Follow along at www.Huckabee50.com or #50more on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

From our roots as a small architecture firm in West Texas, to being named the #1 educational design firm in the state, it’s been an incredible journey. Here’s to 50 more years … we’re just getting started!

A FOUNDATION OF INTEGRITY

Fifty years ago, Tommie Huckabee saw an opportunity to bridge the gap in the architect and contractor relationship. He grew up working with his father, a general contractor, and knew the importance of a solid set of construction documents. As a result, he believed he owed it to his clients to do detailed drawings that bid more accurately and delivered more value. In 1967, Tommie and his colleague, Herman Riherd, opened Riherd & Huckabee in Andrews and Lubbock, Texas. The philosophy that inspired their vision is the foundation for what we still believe today—above all else: quality, integrity and service.

From the beginning, our work focused on education. We primarily served West Texas school districts, earning a reputation for excellence in the region. One of our first projects was a new gymnasium for Denver City ISD. More work followed, with Huckabee schools popping up across the plains. At the time, Riherd & Huckabee was designing some of the most innovative facilities in the region, including a new middle school for Andrews ISD that had a planetarium, three gymnasiums and an open concept learning environment. Another project, in Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD, was one of Tommie’s favorites; it was selected in 1976 to exhibit at an International Design Competition in Basel, Switzerland.

In the mid-70s, Riherd retired, and a new partner, Larry Donham, joined Tommie. Huckabee & Donham had 10 employees. For the next 15 years, they continued to build the firm’s legacy. During this time, Tommie opened an office in Stephenville, where the firm relocated after Donham’s retirement.

In 1989, Huckabee was short-listed in Mansfield ISD. The district was small, and they were looking for a partner to grow with. Huckabee fit the bill, and we kicked off a 28-year relationship that has resulted in more than $1.75 billion in school projects. It was one of the most significant moments for our firm. Today, Mansfield ISD serves more than 33,000 students. Their legacy is one we are proud to share.

In 1990, we became Huckabee & Associates. Tommie’s son, Chris Huckabee, graduated from Texas Tech University and joined the firm.

Chris had learned from the best. In second grade he attended his first board meeting with his father. Soon after, he started riding along to visit construction sites and meet with clients whenever the opportunity arose. He was entrenched in Huckabee, and when graduation came, eager to make his mark and work alongside Tommie.

A VISIONARY FUTURE

In 1995, Chris opened an office in Fort Worth, another significant move for Huckabee. It provided more opportunities for the firm to compete in a larger market. In 2000, Tommie passed the torch to Chris, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and a foundation that continues to sustain us.

Over the next nine years, Huckabee focused on the work, establishing a presence in new markets to the east, north and south. We developed new relationships and started working with school districts that remain our partners today.

When the recession hit in 2009, we doubled down on our commitment to Texas education. Huckabee invested in hiring talented leaders in the educational design field. We diversified our offerings and focused on being a trusted advisor for our clients. We took the time to reflect on our role in education and work with school districts to develop comprehensive plans for the future. We embodied the concept of being “More than Architects,” a vision that allowed us to do more, be more and give more to our clients. It was a defining moment for Huckabee, and it led to an incredible period of growth.

We are Huckabee Texas
happy hour Huckabee Texas

By 2011, Huckabee started expanding. We opened offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Notably, we also opened the Learning Experience Laboratories (LEx Labs) in partnership with ESC Region 12 at Baylor University. LEx Labs is an educational research center and test lab used by Huckabee, our clients and the university to explore 21st century classrooms and learning spaces. As education moves toward project-based learning and creating authenticity in the learning experience, we are standing beside Texas schools and helping lead the way for incredible facilities. LEx Labs represents this commitment, and it’s our way of investing in research and training that supports long-term student engagement and performance.

In 2016, on the eve of our 50th anniversary, Huckabee was named the #1 educational design firm in Texas by Engineering News Record. The recognition was a testament to our employees, clients and our commitment to education. Today, we have over 200 employees across the state, with more than 3,500 educational projects under our cap. We have worked with more than 150 school districts in the last few decades alone, and impacted thousands of students and educators throughout our shared journey.

Now in our 50th year, Huckabee still stands for the values that Tommie instilled: quality, integrity and service. We still stand for education and the success of all students. And we still strive to be more every single day, because education is worth it and our kids deserve it. As we celebrate our golden anniversary, we can’t help but look forward to 50 more years.

It’s been an incredible journey, and we’re just getting started.

Child-Centered Learning

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Kerri Ranney, Huckabee’s Director of Learning & Strategic Development, talks about child centered learning and empowering educators in a recent guest column in School Planning and Management magazine.

“In architectural design, we follow the foundational concept that form follows function, believing that instructional environments are most successful when approached methodically, as opposed to delivering a one-size-fits-all learning space. As customizable learning experiences come to prominence, more focus than ever is being put on child-centered learning philosophies, in which multiple pedagogies and diverse learning needs are used to inspire educational design.

However, focusing solely on the child-learner often misses a key opportunity: the professional development of educators. As educational facilities continue to evolve, expanding the planning and design conversation to include educator development and space needs will impart far greater success in the classroom, for educators and students alike.”

Click here to read the full article.

BD+C: #25 in Giants 300

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Building Design + Construction magazine released the 2016 Giants 300 Report, naming Huckabee #3 K-12 School Sector Architecture Firm and #25 Architecture / Engineering Firm in the nation. Of those recognized, Huckabee is one of the only firms that exclusively serves Texas educational clients. The annual list is determined based on market-sector revenue, BIM revenue, green building work and other criteria. It represents the largest and most innovative firms in the architecture, engineering and construction fields.

The publication also featured Kerri Ranney and LEx Labs, Huckabee’s educational research lab, in an article about the future of K-12 educational design. To read more, click here.

West ISD rendering Huckabee Texas

#1 Educational Design Firm

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Engineering News-Record Texas & Louisiana named Huckabee its 2016 Design Firm of the Year, “…for its commitment to employees, clients and enhancing learning environments across the state, as well as its dedication to the community.” Click here to read more. Huckabee also received the top nod as the #1 Educational Design Firm. Click here to see the lists.

ENR: Design Firm of the Year

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Engineering News Record Texas & Louisiana named Huckabee its 2016 Design Firm of the Year. Huckabee jumped nearly 150 spots in this year’s ENR Top 500 Design Firms to land at No. 213 on the list. Huckabee will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017 and has experienced exponential growth since the firm opened in 1967. Notably, in the past five years, Huckabee has opened multiple offices in thriving live / work / play communities, recruited the best of the best in educational planning and design and expanded service offerings to provide clients with a more holistic approach to designing the learning environment.

Huckabee will be featured in the June 13 edition of ENR Texas & Louisiana. Click here to read more.

Alvarado Junior High Huckabee Texas
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ENR: #213 on the Top 500

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Huckabee jumped nearly 150 spots to place 213 on Engineering News Record’s 2016 Top 500 Design Firms. The list ranks firms across the nation based on design services revenue. Over the past few years, Huckabee has experienced record growth, increasing its services, staff and local office presence across the state of Texas. Notably in 2015, Huckabee opened a new corporate office in downtown Fort Worth, relocated offices in Houston and Austin into larger spaces (in thriving live / work / play communities) and opened a new office in San Antonio.

Huckabee’s reputation as a leader in learning environments and as a trusted advisor is the driving force behind the firm’s substantial growth. Huckabee has exclusively served educational clients for 49 years, and continues to provide exceptional service, innovative solutions and a client-centric approach for each and every project. Click here to view the full list of ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms.

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K. Ranney Named Top 20 Under 40

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Kerri_RanneyColorKerri Ranney—Huckabee’s Director of Learning & Strategic Development Services—was named to Engineering News-Record’s Top 20 Under 40 Class of 2016. The Top 20 Under 40 list recognizes the top young construction / architectural professionals from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississipi and Oklahoma. Kerri was recognized for her contributions to the field of educational design. Click here to view the list.

Kerri was also recently appointed as the Southern Region Representative to the International Board for the Association for Learning Environments. The organization is dedicated to helping improve the educational environment, a mission for which Kerri is extremely passionate. She has been involved with the organization since 2008 and currently serves as Past President of the Southern Region.

For the past 16 years, Kerri has focused her career on serving educational clients—a passion that started in college when she spent a summer working in an educational design studio in Orlando. It was there that she determined her career focus, feeling drawn to educational design and the creativity and strategy that shapes the learning environment.

In 2013, Kerri joined Huckabee’s leadership team to head the Learning and Strategic Development department. Kerri crafted the department around providing services that would help schools evolve the learning experience—combining design, educational delivery and strategic vision into the master planning process. Under Kerri’s leadership, the Huckabee planning team is changing the landscape of educational design in Texas.

Haller award recipient Huckabee Texas

Haller Award: Ben Harris

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Benchmark_HarrisColorBenchmark Harris, Huckabee’s Director of Engineering, was named the 2015 Haller Award recipient, an honor presented by The Masonry Society to an engineer or engineering firm that has enhanced the knowledge of masonry in practice. The award recognizes the “beauty, elegance and economy” of structural masonry projects.

Ben is being recognized for his contributions in design, as well as his contributions as a leading expert in the field. He has more than 18 years of experience, completing more than $2 billion in construction projects utilizing concrete masonry as a primary structural element.

In his profession, Ben is frequently sought out to share his expertise and has been a featured speaker at events and conferences for organizations including, the U.S. Department of Education, American Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, Texas Association of School Administrators, Texas Association of School Business Officials, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Brownsville, Structural Engineers Association of Texas, The Masonry Society, North American Masonry Conferences, ICON-Xchange and the International Masonry Institute. He has also been published by Structure Magazine, written numerous white papers and contributed to Masonry Designer’s Guide.

At Huckabee, Ben leads a team of 16 engineers and engineers-in-training. He promotes an informed and creative approach to developing solutions for educational design that integrate architectural and structural features. His team is heavily involved in the planning and design process, promoting collaboration, mentorship and shared knowledge to create innovative and structurally sound designs. Since joining the firm in 2011, Ben has led Huckabee’s engineering arm to become the top “Best Firm to Work For—Structural Engineering Firm,” in 2015 as named by Zweig Group.

The Haller Award—named in memory of Professor Paul Haller, an engineer who helped revolutionize the field—is reviewed annually; however, is not awarded each year. Ben is only the seventh recipient since the award was first bestowed in 1993.

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LEx Labs Featured on KWTX News 10

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LEx Labs—Huckabee’s educational research lab in partnership with ESC Region 12 at Baylor University—was featured on KWTX News 10 in Waco. The story illustrates how teachers and administrators from across the state are using the space to explore how students react to different learning environments.

Within the space, Huckabee’s clients have access to technology and flexible use furniture that is equipped with motion sensors. The sensors track furniture movement and how students adjust their surroundings to create the most comfortable learning space. As more and more clients utilize LEx Labs, Huckabee is generating valuable data to help school districts make informed decisions about their educational design programs.

ribbon cutting Huckabee Texas

Huckabee Opens New Headquarters

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ribbon cutting 2 Huckabee Texas

Huckabee officially cut the ribbon last week for its new office space in Burnett Plaza in downtown Fort Worth—on the heels of the firm’s grand opening for its Austin office’s new location in The Domain weeks before. It was Huckabee’s first chance to welcome school district clients, corporate partners and special guests into the new office (to read more about Huckabee’s new corporate digs, click here). More than 200 people attended and had the opportunity to explore the office’s 45,000 square feet of collaborative and technology-driven work space.

In Fort Worth, Huckabee dedicated three meeting spaces in honor of individuals who have made an impact on the Huckabee story. The Terry Learning Center—the central space in which Huckabee employees gather to re-connect, learn and socialize—was re-dedicated in memory of Timothy Terry, a former employee who made a lifelong impression on the firm before his passing. The Newsom Room—a unique meeting space and central design element of the lobby—was dedicated in memory of Vernon Newsom, former Superintendent of Mansfield ISD. And, The Founders Room—a state-of-the-art conference room—was dedicated in honor of the company’s founder, Mr. Tommie Huckabee. In Austin, Huckabee dedicated The Hart Room in honor of Dr. Rob Hart, Superintendent of Liberty Hill ISD.

Huckabee has six offices in Texas, located in Fort Worth, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and LEx Labs, our educational research lab, at Baylor University in Waco.

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