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Research

Investing in a Better Texas

By | Research

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.

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Middle School Maker Space

By | Research

Huckabee has long explored innovative ways to help school districts design spaces that engage students and support creativity. This concept has become an integral part of the planning and programming process as more and more clients are looking to incorporate flexible-use space into their facilities. Schools nationwide are integrating “maker” spaces into libraries and other areas.

At Midway Middle School in Midway Independent School District, Huckabee is designing a flexible-use makerspace where students have access to materials, tools and technology to freely create, or remake, physical and digital designs and prototypes. The project is part of a comprehensive district-wide initiative to help students prepare for the workforce and college, starting with the introduction of project-based learning techniques in elementary school and increasing in intensity through middle school and into high school. The makerspace in Midway Middle School will build off of similar spaces found in the district’s elementary schools (read more about the concept here), allowing students to work collaboratively and focus on problem-solving and innovation.

The project is part of a media center renovation for the school, which is creating intentional areas within the center that are clearly individualized and identified, yet cohesively integrated into the larger concept of a resource-rich and flexible-use learning space. The makerspace is adjacent to technology and learning resources, a future A/V lab, study and group presentation areas and a learning stair. The space will feature movable furniture, which will allow students to configure the area based on learning goals. In addition, it will offer ample physical and counter space, a sink and storage areas, wall-size dry erase boards and glazed partitions that can be arranged as needed.

Construction will take place in summer of 2016, opening in time for the 2016-17 school year.

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LEx Labs Featured on KWTX News 10

By | Research

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.

Huckabee Opens Research Lab

By | Research

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 Forms Research Venture

By | Research

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.

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CHAMPIONS FOR STUDENT SUCCESS

We are committed to the success of all students
and the profound impact it has on all of us.

MORE THAN CLIENTS

We believe in communities.

We’re proud of the work we do with educators, students and communities across Texas. When people rally together in support of their schools, they become a community. We believe creating unified and progressive communities drives change and enriches the lives of generations to come.

The majority of our client base consists of repeat clients and referrals, which is a testament to the quality of our work and the strength of our relationships with our clients. Our long list of school partners have turned to us time and time again because they know, at Huckabee, we’re more than architects.

We raise the bar.

“Huckabee helped our district systematically explore the global needs of our students, teachers and community, leading to the design of a campus that will set the standard for education in our region.”

DAVID TRUITT, SUPERINTENDENT OF WEST ISD

OUR CLIENTS INCLUDE:

Alief ISD
Alvarado ISD
Alvin ISD
Arlington ISD
Belton ISD
Boerne ISD
Brownwood ISD
Dripping Springs ISD
Duncanville ISD
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD
Everman ISD
Falls City ISD
Fort Bend ISD
Fort Worth ISD
Garland ISD
Gatesville ISD
Georgetown ISD
Goose Creek CISD
Graham ISD

Granbury ISD Grandview ISD
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
Greenville ISD
Hays CISD
Huffman ISD
Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
Irving ISD
Joshua ISD
Katy ISD
Kaufman ISD
Kilgore ISD
Killeen ISD
Klein ISD
Lake Travis ISD
Lancaster ISD
Liberty Hill ISD
Little Elm ISD
Lockhart ISD
Longview ISD

opening Huckabee Texas
collaboration is key Huckabee Texas
design plan Huckabee Texas
group selfie Huckabee Texas

MORE THAN A CLASSROOM

Learning Experience Labs

Conducting real research of how the learning
environment impacts student achievement.
more than architects Huckabee Texas
square Huckabee Texas

CHAMPIONS FOR STUDENT SUCCESS

We are committed to the success of all students
and the profound impact it has on all of us.

MORE THAN CLIENTS

We believe in communities.

We’re proud of the work we do with educators, students and communities across Texas. When people rally together in support of their schools, they become a community. We believe creating unified and progressive communities drives change and enriches the lives of generations to come.

The majority of our client base consists of repeat clients and referrals, which is a testament to the quality of our work and the strength of our relationships with our clients. Our long list of school partners have turned to us time and time again because they know, at Huckabee, we’re more than architects.

We raise the bar.

“Huckabee helped our district systematically explore the global needs of our students, teachers and community, leading to the design of a campus that will set the standard for education in our region.”

DAVID TRUITT, SUPERINTENDENT OF WEST ISD

OUR CLIENTS INCLUDE:

Alief ISD
Alvarado ISD
Alvin ISD
Arlington ISD
Belton ISD
Boerne ISD
Brownwood ISD
Dripping Springs ISD
Duncanville ISD
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD
Everman ISD
Falls City ISD
Fort Bend ISD
Fort Worth ISD
Garland ISD
Gatesville ISD
Georgetown ISD
Goose Creek CISD
Graham ISD

Granbury ISD Grandview ISD
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
Greenville ISD
Hays CISD
Huffman ISD
Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
Irving ISD
Joshua ISD
Katy ISD
Kaufman ISD
Kilgore ISD
Killeen ISD
Klein ISD
Lake Travis ISD
Lancaster ISD
Liberty Hill ISD
Little Elm ISD
Lockhart ISD
Longview ISD

opening Huckabee Texas
collaboration is key Huckabee Texas
design plan Huckabee Texas
group selfie Huckabee Texas

MORE THAN A CLASSROOM

Learning Experience Labs

Conducting real research of how the learning
environment impacts student achievement.

New Report on Texas School Construction

By | Research

The Fast Growth School Coalition and Huckabee have developed and released a school facilities report entitled, “Texas Schools Aren’t Average,” which is in response to information that has been disseminated by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. While the comptroller’s information averages the cost and sizes of school buildings across the state, “Texas Schools Aren’t Average” provides a more accurate portrayal of potential cost differences based on:

  • Regional differences such as climate and soil type
  • Construction considerations such as foundation types and local building codes
  • Input by local community members regarding the type of facility they want for their students

The report consistently emphasizes that “in Texas, decisions regarding public education are made by local communities, and since local communities are all different, that means decisions about educational programs and school buildings are going to vary considerably across the State of Texas.”