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Ranked #37 in Architectural Record

By | Industry, News

Huckabee has been ranked No. 37 this year on the Architectural Record magazine Top 300 Architectural Firms list, moving up seven points from 2018. We are proud to serve students, educators and communities through our work, and we are honored that because of their trust, we have a platform to help improve education for all while excelling in our industry.

At Huckabee, we are committed to, and known for, design innovation, technical excellence and personal service. We have exclusively served educational clients in Texas for 52 years, completing over 3,500 projects and greatly impacting students and educators.

Click here to view the full list of Architectural Record magazine Top 300 Architectural Firms.

Huckabee Ranked in ENR Top 500

By | Industry

Huckabee once again ranked amongst Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design Firms, climbing 13 spots to #221. The list ranks A/E firms across the nation based on revenue for design services performed in the previous year. Huckabee has continued to grow and expand our presence across Texas in recent years. We currently have over 260 employees—representing a holistic set of services—across six offices. Notably, our San Antonio office relocated in the past year to a new, larger space that reflects our dedication to creative and engaging work environments. We also held a multi-day staff retreat called CampACE, which focused on culture, professional development and community excellence.

At Huckabee, we are committed to, and known for, design innovation, technical excellence and personal service. We have exclusively served educational clients in Texas for 52 years, completing over 3,500 projects and greatly impacting students and educators. Our commitment to Texas education has led Huckabee to be a leader in learning environments and a trusted advisor to many. We are honored to serve students, educators and communities, and we will continue to focus on doing and being MORE for our clients.

Click here to view the full list of ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms.

It All Starts Here

By | Industry

“It All Starts Here” emphasizes the critical role public education plays in the future of Texas. Produced in partnership with TASA, the message stresses the importance of a shared commitment to education, along with focus on key issues such as full-day pre-K, better pay for all school employees, safety and security, and innovative programs. It is a reminder that an investment in education is an investment in the future of Texas. To learn more, click here.

Zweig Group Trifecta Award

By | Industry

For the second year in a row, Huckabee is one of a few companies to earn Zweig Group’s esteemed Trifecta Award. This honor recognizes companies that have won Hot Firm, Best Firms to Work For and Marketing Excellence awards within the same year.

The Hot Firm Award recognizes firms that are rapidly growing in the architecture, engineering and planning industry. Huckabee moved up the list this year, coming in at #7. See the full list of Hot Firms here.

The Best Firms to Work For Award recognizes outstanding work environments and company culture by utilizing employee surveys and corporate evaluations to determine rankings. This year, Huckabee proudly placed third in the architecture category – a testament to our dedication to being more for our team. We place great emphasis on excellence in everything we do, and this means investing in our team, our offices and our culture.

To round out the Trifecta, Huckabee also won a Marketing Excellence Award for our internal 50th anniversary campaign. 2017 was a year of celebration, togetherness, recognition and re-affirmation that the first 50 years were just the beginning! Some of our favorite components of the campaign included a swag-grab kick-off event, a series of “50 Flair” buttons for employees to earn through participation in 50th anniversary events, a “What’s Your 50?” mini-campaign allowing employees to elaborate on what this milestone means to them, special Huckabean anniversary beverages from our coffee bar, a “Be More” program that awarded $50,000 to employees for growth and professional development opportunities and a “Huckapalooza” anniversary bash with employees and their families.

We are excited to share this accomplishment with every member of our team as we embark on the next 50 years. Interested in joining our team? Visit www.morethanaworkplace.com to view our current opportunities.

Huckabee at TASA/TASB

By | Industry

Team Huckabee is at TASA / TASB this weekend, sharing insights with our partners at three break-out sessions. Here’s when and where to find us:

Process not Product: Promoting authentic learning in elementary education
Kerri Ranney is joined by Dr. Benny Soileau and Dr. Joel Nolte of Huffman ISD and Tona Blizzard of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD at the TASA/TASB convention in Dallas for this session that focuses on how to leverage design, instruction and community to create a supportive and explorative learning environment. The team looks at Huffman ISD’s new elementary school and Grapevine-Colleyville ISD’s new STEM education campus.  The conversation explores the steps that were taken to fully adopt a culture shift at a campus and district level that promotes skills-based education and a love of life-long learning. A VR component and “Experience More” goggles are included.

The session takes place at 7:30 AM on Friday, October 6 in Room D172.

Top 10 Conversations and Aspirations Influencing School Design
Kerri is joined by Konrad Judd, Huckabee’s Chief Design Officer, for a light-hearted 30-minute discussion on the top 10 things school districts are asking for now. Think David Letterman meets public education with a design twist. Kerri and Konrad count down the 10 most requested items, spaces and cultural influencers that are topping out wish lists across the state. From power outlets and parking spots to adaptability and autonomy, they’ll answer: why these items are being asked for, how they’re being used and how they are changing the learning experience for students and teachers.

The session begins at 9 AM on Friday, October 6 in the exhibit hall at TASA/TASB.

Furniture as a Learning Tool: Drawing inspiration beyond educational portfolios
Konrad, Tami O’Neal, Huckabee’s furniture coordinator, and Amy Wood, Granbury ISD’s Director of Technology, explore a case study on Granbury ISD’s high school reconstruction and the impact furniture had on curriculum and design. GISD looked beyond typical K-12 furniture options and designed a solution that maximized instructional and economic value for their $49 million modernization. They gained square footage, increased utilization and delivered a 21st century environment for less than they had estimated.

The session takes place at 1 PM on Friday, October 6 in room D172 during the TASA/TASB convention in Dallas. The session will be repeated at the EdSpaces conference in Kansas City at 3:30 PM on October 25.

VOTE UP Huckabee for SXSWedu

By | Industry

“Vote Up” Huckabee for the 2018 SXSW EDU Panel Picker!

SXSW EDU empowers teaching and learning as part of an immersive four-day experience. Huckabee was thrilled to present at the event in 2017, where we explored the planning and design process and its value on the development of customized learning environments. We’re taking it a step further in 2018 to engage in conversation about the next generation of learning environments and the constantly evolving nature of education. Visit the SXSW EDU Panel Picker site, now through August 25, to cast your vote for “Relevancy of Classrooms to 21st Century Learning.”

Relevancy of Classrooms to 21st Century Learning
Presented by Kerri Ranney and Konrad Judd
Learning is constantly evolving. It has the power to change minds and lives. It has no restrictions except for those we assign it—time, expectation and space. As learning ingratiates into technology, becomes more accessible and takes on a kinetic persona, classrooms are dissolving. Session leaders facilitate a discussion about the viability of classrooms; the intersection of next-generation educational leaders and professional development; and the rise of non-restrictive learning environments.

#1 Best Firms to Work For

By | Industry

Huckabee was named the #1 Best Firms to Work For by Zweig Group—a ranking that recognizes outstanding work environments and company culture. Huckabee is dedicated to workplace excellence and our firm is excited to share this honor with our entire team! 

“This recognition is about our people and our shared passion for design, engineering and education. We place great emphasis on excellence in everything we do, and this means investing in our team, our offices and our culture,” said Chris Huckabee, Chief Executive Officer. 

Chris often works in the coffee bar or common areas of each office, using the time as an opportunity to engage with employees and enjoy the vibrant work environment. Over the past few years, Huckabee opened offices in live-work-play communities and transitioned to a more open, collaborative and flexible work space that better reflects the culture. Sit-to-stand desks, soft seating, technology-friendly meeting spaces, informal lounges, focus rooms and coffee bars are a few of the features employees enjoy.

“We’ve put a lot of thought into what our team needs to succeed. Each of our offices reflect our corporate culture as well as local personality. When you walk in, you know you’re in a Huckabee office,” he said.

Kim Hopper, Huckabee’s Chief Human Resources Officer believes our firm is consistently recognized as a best place to work because of our ongoing commitment to opportunity and family. “I knew from day one this was a special place. Opportunity is everywhere, and we have so many inspirational people on our team that provide ongoing mentorship to their colleagues each and every day.”

Family is key to Huckabee’s culture of excellence—whether at work or home. Our employee engagement coordinator plans culture-focused activities that bring small and large groups together in meaningful ways. An emphasis on work-life balance is also prevalent. Other programs and perks include professional development; wellness initiatives; employee-driven committees focused on culture; and great coffee.

Notably, Huckabee is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and is commemorating the occasion with several employee-focused programs, including an employee scholarship program for personalized professional development; a limited-edition flair / swag program; and a firm-wide family day and anniversary party. 

“There is so much opportunity at Huckabee for any number of professionals in the architecture, engineering, design and support fields,” said Chris. “Huckabee’s culture is the result of 50 years of practice and focus in the educational market. We are life-long learners, and we hire people who bring passion, innovation and integrity to our team. We are proud of our firm and the reputation we’ve established as a great company to work for and with.”

For more information about Huckabee’s culture or career opportunities, visit www.morethanaworkplace.com.

We are Huckabee Texas
happy hour Huckabee Texas

Zweig Group’s Best Firms to Work For honors outstanding workspaces in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, geotechnical, environmental and civil, structural, and multi-discipline engineering firms. Firms are ranked based on ability to create amazing workspaces through design, teamwork, benefits, amenities and work culture. They are scored on employee surveys and corporate evaluations. To view the full list, click here.

Huckabee honored by Midway ISD

By | Industry

Midway ISD named Huckabee a 2017 Friends of Midway recipient. We are honored by the designation and proud of our 15+ year partnership. Here’s an excerpt from Midway ISD’s announcement:

Suzi Pagel, Executive Director of the Midway Education Foundation, says, “Huckabee has donated to the Midway Education Foundation each year since the nonprofit organization held their first annual campaign in 2001. We appreciate the faithful support that Huckabee has provided us. To date, seven grants have been named in honor of Huckabee. These grants have provided district-wide programs such as Midway Reads as well as elementary and high school level grant.”

In addition, Huckabee Architects have been instrumental in the successful launch of multiple recent large-scale, creative projects at Midway ISD. The Studio, a renovation to the 30-year old Midway Middle School library, has tremendously impacted the life of the campus. The Studio has also served as a best practice example to multiple other school districts interested in makerspaces and flexible arrangement spaces. Huckabee experts have also been crucial to the partnership between Baylor University, Spring Valley Elementary, Education Service Center Region 12, and Huckabee to study how the learning environment affects student engagement.

Read the full story here.

Huckabee presenting at SXSWedu

By | Industry

Kerri Ranney, Huckabee’s Director of Learning & Strategic Development, and Konrad Judd, our Director of Design, are slated to present at SXSWedu 2017. Their topic, “Planning and Designing Learning Experiences” explores the planning and design process and its value on the development of learning environments that meet the needs of students and educators. It will cover important topics about the future of education and the roles of both students and educators in that shift. In addition, it will include the many layers of student choice and its impact on the overall learning experience.

The presentation will take place at 5 PM on Wednesday, March 8 at the JW Marriott in Austin in Salon C.

Kerri and Konrad are working with school districts to design some of the most progressive learning environments in Texas. They are helping clients meet the needs of 21st century learners and educators, as well as contributing to research at the classroom level that explores agility in education.

Huckabee presenting at TASBO

By | Industry

Huckabee joins Granbury ISD to present “Furniture as a Learning Tool: Drawing Inspiration Beyond Education” at this year’s TASBO conference. The presentation will take place at 10:15 AM on March 2 at the Austin Convention Center. Our speakers include Amy Wood, Director of Technology Granbury ISD; Konrad Judd, our Director of Design; and Tami O’Neal, our Furniture Coordinator and Interior Designer.

Furniture as a Learning Tool: Drawing Inspiration Beyond Education

Furniture can make or break a learning environment. Its selection and use is key to creating an environment that engages learners, supports the profession of teaching and informs the use of the space. Looking beyond a traditional K-12 catalog, and seeking inspiration outside of education, increases value for students and teachers.

In Granbury ISD, the district used this approach to create huge impact for a major reconstruction of their high school—utilizing furniture and design to increase capacity, inspire collaboration, improve the professional environment for teachers and maximize the experience for students.

The district and design team discuss their approach and how they leveraged furniture and design choices as part of the renovation to deliver a 21st century educational environment for under $50 million.

Investing in a Better Texas

By | Industry

The realities of school funding, needs and debt are complex. To shed light on the necessity of debt in the financial management of our schools, Huckabee researched and developed a report entitled, “Investing in a Better Texas.”

The report light-heartedly explains the multi-layered topic of public school finance. It demonstrates that the revenue generated by the federal government, state government and local communities is not enough to meet the needs of the more than 5 million students in the Texas public school system. The report also touches on how Texas’ funding structure makes it difficult for our fastest growing school districts to utilize debt effectively, further compounding their challenges to providing a quality education to every student.

Click here to download, “Investing in a Better Texas,” and its companion report, “Texas Schools Aren’t Average,” also published by Huckabee.

Best Companies to Work For

By | Industry

Huckabee is more than a workplace. Our work community means many things to many people—from opportunity, integrity and growth to friendship, family and fun. It’s why we’re excited to be named to FWinc’s 2016 Best Companies to Work For! Of the many things Huckabee employees noted about why it’s an excellent place to work: our barista, our coffee, our employee events coordinator, our focus on professional development and growth, our culture of excellence, our wellness program, our team building activities and our mission. Click here to read to the story. And visit our careers page to learn more about opportunities at Huckabee.

Austin common area Huckabee Texas

Austin Business Journal Spotlight

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Austin Business Journal visited Huckabee’s local office to take a tour of the newly designed space, located in The Domain in northwest Austin. The article (click here to view) provides a visual tour of the space, which was designed by Gensler, an architecture firm known for creating exceptional work environments.

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. Each space features a similar environment, making Huckabee feel like home regardless of where it’s located.

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austin office space Huckabee Texas
We are Huckabee Texas
austin office people Huckabee Texas

Huckabee Named Giants 300 Top 10

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Building Design + Construction magazine released the 2015 Giants 300 list, naming Huckabee #40 nationwide and #4 in the Top 10 K-12 School Sector for Architecture Firms. 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. Huckabee has earned its spot as one of the leading architecture firms in the nation, having experienced record growth over the past five years. Since 2010, the firm has added regional locations to complement the corporate office in Fort Worth (including offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio) in addition to an educational research lab, LEx Labs, at Baylor University where the learning environment is being studied and explored.

“We continue to strengthen our presence—both in size and in innovation. Being recognized as a top firm is a reflection of these efforts, driven by our commitment to educational clients and the design of pioneering learning environments.”

Chris Huckabee, Chief Executive Officer, Huckabee
Alvarado Jr High studying Huckabee Texas

Q & A with Konrad Judd

By | Industry

Konrad-Judd-ColorFor 48 years, Huckabee has helped our clients achieve innovation and excellence in educational design, and as our company has grown over the years, we’ve continued to add best-in-class expertise to our team. In 2013, Huckabee welcomed Konrad Judd, an international thought leader in educational design, as our Director of Design. Together, we’ve continued our commitment to Texas students and Texas schools, providing innovation, value and flexible designs to meet emerging trends in educational delivery.

Konrad’s first project with Huckabee was the design of Alvarado ISD’s new junior high school. Konrad and his team helped the district realize their goals of merging project-based learning strategies with a traditional learning environment. The result is a modern facility that will act as a benchmark for future projects in the district.

The Huckabee team joined Alvarado ISD for a special ribbon cutting ceremony in August, opening the doors for the community to explore their newest instructional facility. The new building is exceptional, and we sat down with Konrad to talk about the project and how Huckabee’s design team is making an impact in education.

Q1: The district started off the conceptual process with the idea of designing a traditional learning facility; however, Alvarado JHS is anything but. How did Huckabee work with the district to re-envision their goals?

Huckabee’s planning and design process is very collaborative—with involvement from each of our design disciplines. We work with districts in their schools, scheduling design charrettes onsite with administrators, faculty and other stakeholders to talk through their educational delivery goals and present concepts and ideas for design. When we started talking with the district, we realized their goals leaned more toward modern, project-based learning strategies.

Our design team put together several concepts for the district’s review, and we decided to move forward with a facility that included innovative learning elements. The selections aligned well with what the district wanted to accomplish, long term. The process was a game-changer, and elements that are found in the junior high school will be used in future facilities.

Q2: Innovative elements are found throughout the facility. How did your design team incorporate these elements into the design?

The broad philosophy in educational circles right now focuses on breaking down schools into smaller environments, providing a shared and more personal experience for groups of students. Often, students feel overwhelmed in larger school environments.

In Alvarado ISD, staff and administrators decided to break down the junior high by grade level, creating two distinct spaces for 7th grade on the lower level and 8th grade on the second level. Each grade level is then separated into smaller academic pods that contain classrooms and labs that are centered on a living room or shared space. The shared space is connected vertically with the other grade level by a stairway, creating opportunities for students to interact and for 8th graders to mentor their younger counterparts.

Notably, the classrooms in each academic pod have a section of glass walls, creating transparency from classroom to the shared space. This concept of transparency is trending right now as schools are moving toward active learning environments that incorporate smaller doses of traditional stand-and-deliver teaching. Transparency enhances an active learning environment and mimics many aspects of the workplace, better preparing students for their future.

The team also incorporated outdoor learning courtyards for each grade level. These courtyards connect to the academic pods and feature comfortable seating and planter boxes that can be used for science experiments. Finding ways to connect the indoors with the outdoors, an important feature for student development.

Q3: One of the unique features in the facility is a Genius Lounge. But, what exactly is a Genius Lounge?

Huckabee’s Genius Lounge is a combination of Apple’s Genius Bar and a lounge you’d find at Starbucks or Barnes and Noble. The space is found inside the library and features soft seating and an open concept. As today’s students are using libraries differently than generations before them, we must find ways to maintain the value in these types of spaces by encouraging scholarship and collaboration. The Genius Lounge accomplishes this, providing a comfortable space where students act as peer-to-peer geniuses as they problem solve together.

Q4: The facility has a modern aesthetic. How did your team’s selections fit into the district’s design goals?

Alvarado ISD was open to a design that was more progressive and sophisticated, blending professional with academic aesthetics. We used glass, steel, metal and masonry on the exterior to create the modern look, while incorporating wood, soft seating and pops of color inside to make it comfortable and suitable for the students and the academic environment.

Throughout the building the design team also placed brightly colored way-finding “portals.” These portals are intended to help students, teachers and visitors easily find areas of importance such as the entrance to the media center and academic pods, as well as other collaborative learning spaces. They also provided an opportunity to add visual interest and incorporate the school’s colors into the design.

Q5: What’s next for Huckabee’s clients?

Huckabee’s design department is working on some really exciting projects right now that are changing the way our schools think about educational delivery. We are working hand-in-hand with our planning teams to research the learning environment and design transformational spaces. In Dripping Springs, Georgetown, Killeen and Kaufman ISDs, as well as others, we are changing the design of learning spaces to support the way instruction is being delivered with today’s modern activity strategies and open-concept / flexible environments. Alvarado ISD’s new junior high is a great example of how we’re partnering with schools to enhance instruction and build a future for our kids.

Weatherford school Huckabee Texas
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Huckabee Opens New Corporate Digs

By | Industry

Huckabee has been voted “Best Place to Work,” numerous times—just ask our employees, and they’ll tell you why. We have passion, we have incredible work environments, we are committed to our craft and most importantly, we have amazing coffee (a critical factor when working with architects, engineers and creative types).

Over the past five years Huckabee has been in growth mode, growing our staff, our services and our offices—now with locations in Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Waco and Dallas, where we can provide personal services to our school district clients. And, with growth, comes innovation, and with innovation, comes an idea to design our workspace around what being a “Huckabeean,” really means. And what it really means, is really awesome.

Huckabee’s corporate headquarters relocated to its new, state-of-the-art office this week. Located in downtown Fort Worth, the 2-story Hucka-cool space embodies the firm’s commitment to excellence, designed to address the needs of our employees so they can focus on the needs of our clients. Walk in, and you’re greeted by Corey, our corporate barista. Take a seat in the Huckabean Cafe and he’ll make you a cup of coffee to start your day. Stop by on a Tuesday or Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and join in on the double shot happy hour (coffee only, thank you).

The lobby and coffee bar are the central hub of the office, offering flexible use space (and sweeping downtown views) for impromptu meetings, creative sessions, client meetings or a game of ping-pong in between marathon design sessions. The Huckabee brand is seen everywhere, from the custom-designed logo lights that highlight the staircase to color selections throughout and even in the tile selection for the magazine-worthy finishes in the restrooms.

“Each and every space in the office was tailored to fit the needs of our employees and to personify our brand,” said Chris Huckabee, CEO of the firm. “We are constantly on the move, constantly thinking and seeking inspiration. The office was designed to ignite this passion—providing a space that our employees can share with each other and share with clients.”

Sit-to-stand desks are used at each workstation and an open concept environment promotes teamwork. Collaboration pockets and workspaces are located throughout the building, featuring comfortable chairs and situated with the best views of downtown. Large, open workrooms are a designer’s dream, with wide expanses of counter surfaces, storage and natural light for Huckabee’s interior designers to select finishes and for the architectural and structural teams to review plans and drawings.

Modern and technology-rich, Huckabee’s new office is nothing short of incredible (according to Ken, an architectural intern, the only thing missing is a slide). Even more incredible, Huckabee’s offices across the state (in Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Waco and Dallas) feature similar environments, making Huckabee feel like home regardless of where it’s located.

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Huckabee Opens Research Lab

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This June, Huckabee celebrated the opening of its new research lab, Learning Experience Laboratories or LEx Labs. The facility was opened in partnership with ESC Region 12 at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative and will act as a unique space to study how the learning environment impacts education.

“The goal and the vision of LEx Labs questions, how can we impact children’s lives?” said Chris Huckabee, CEO of Huckabee. “There’s not a learner today that is the same as a learner from 10 years ago. We have an opportunity here to study state-of-the-art education for the modern and future student. More importantly, to study what really matters in an educational environment.”

A leader in educational design, Huckabee is committed to understanding how learning environments impact student achievement. Through LEx Labs, Huckabee will explore technology use, spatial arrangements and partner with Baylor on research that studies how real learners interact in the learning environment. “The research will be shared with our clients, allowing us to invest our resources to determine best practices before asking school districts to invest theirs,” said Chris.

Huckabee was joined by Dr. Jerry Maze, Director of Region 12, Dr. Truell Hyde, Baylor University Vice Provost for Research and other leaders, dignitaries and staff members from the University, Region 12, Huckabee and numerous other organizations for this important event.

LEx Labs will also be used as a professional development space for educators. This summer, over 1,000 teachers from ESC Region 12 will utilize the space to explore best practices and innovative concepts for instruction. “LEx Labs is a great opportunity for education and for our educators,” said Dr. Jerry Maze. “Region 12 will be training the best of the best here.”

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Huckabee Earns Top Industry Nods

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Huckabee was named a Zweig Group Hot Firm for 2015, being noted as one of the 100 fastest growing architecture firms in the United States and Canada. The list recognizes firms in the architecture, engineering, planning and environmental consulting professions that have “outperformed the economy and competitors to become leaders in their chosen fields.”

The firm was also recognized by Zweig Group as a Best Firm to Work For in 2015, placing number three on the list for architecture firms and number one for structural engineering firms. The Best Firm award recognizes excellence in workplace practices, employee benefits, retention rates and feedback from employees.

This summer, Huckabee was also named one of Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design Firms, jumping to 360 from 421 in 2014. In the regional Texas-Louisiana edition, Huckabee ranked 43, up three spots over last year. This is the fourth consecutive year Huckabee has been recognized on these lists.

Huckabee Forms Research Venture

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The Education Service Center (ESC) Region 12, in Waco has partnered with Huckabee, an educational architectural, engineering and management firm, to design and test the next-generation of innovative classrooms and laboratories in a near-6,000-square-foot educational research facility to be located in the BRIC. The partnership constitutes the first project fully dedicated to one of the founding objectives of the BRIC: furthering education and research in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The research partnership will allow teachers and students to “test-drive” the Huckabee-designed learning spaces developed in the BRIC for periods of days, weeks and even months. During this time, Baylor researchers will observe both teachers and students, compiling data to evaluate the effectiveness of each new concept. Based on data collected, Huckabee will provide new or improved designs, with the most successful design elements eventually deployed in school districts throughout the state.

Dr. Jerry Maze, ESC Region 12 executive director views the opportunity as a “three-way-win” for everyone involved.

“It’s such an exciting concept because it will give our teachers and students an opportunity to be trained on state-of-the-art equipment and designs. At the same time we will have the benefits of the metrics and of knowing the impact we’re having on student achievement,” he said. “In addition, Huckabee will know which design concept they can best refer to their clients, and Baylor will perform the research that’s associated with the project.”

The architecture firm’s CEO, Christopher Huckabee, is a two-term member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. He says that, for his firm, the facility constitutes an invaluable “flexible-classroom laboratory” that will focus on developing modular spaces that can be easily and quickly reconfigured into learning environments specifically tailored to teaching each subject in a way that accommodates how middle- and high-school students learn in the digital age.

“Our learner today is a very unique learner even from just ten years ago,” Huckabee explained. “Today’s students don’t necessarily learn from a teacher standing in front of a classroom lecturing to them; they learn through individual study and group collaboration, from distance learning, video conferencing and different types of media. The classroom is changing dramatically.”

Expectations for success are high among all participants as they anticipate a BRIC move-in this fall. “We are all very excited,” Maze said. “It is a powerful opportunity for three entities such as Baylor, Huckabee and ESC Region 12 to work together for such a large number of teachers and students in our 12-county region. It’s a unique, intellectual challenge and we certainly look forward to the partnership and the benefits it will have for education in this region.”

Dr. Truell Hyde, Baylor vice provost for research and director of the Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research, is also very pleased with the development of this major STEM initiative in the BRIC.

“Educational research and STEM programs are essential to the economic development of the region,” Hyde said. “Long-term, quantifiable research providing data accurately evaluating the effects of both the classroom environment and curriculum intervention does not exist. This partnership establishes Baylor, ESC Region 12 and Huckabee at the cutting edge of this fundamental question.”

ABOUT ESC REGION 12
Education Service Center Region 12 focuses on helping schools save money and leverage resources into the classroom. One of 20 regional education service centers statewide, ESC Region 12 offers training and expert assistance to educators and school personnel in order to increase student achievement. Based in Waco, ESC Region 12 serves 77 school districts, 12 charter and private/parochial schools in Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Hamilton, Hill, Lampasas, Limestone, McLennan, Mills and Navarro counties.

ABOUT HUCKABEE
Founded in 1967, Huckabee provides comprehensive educational facility services including assessments, master planning, architectural design, interior design, technology and security design, structural engineering, civil engineering and construction administration. The firm has completed over 3,000 educational projects for more than 150 school districts across Texas. Huckabee was selected to rebuild the West ISD high school and middle schools destroyed in the tragic April 17, 2013 fertilizer plant explosion.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.