Students, staff and community members at Barbara Jordan High School for Careers received an update on the design and construction process for their new school during a community meeting Tuesday night.
Located in northeast Houston, Jordan is receiving $36.6 million for a new facility featuring labs to support its myriad of career training programs. Jordan currently is transitioning from a career magnet school to a regional Career Hub, allowing students to spend half their day at their home school and the other half at Jordan participating in high-demand, career curriculum.
The new facility will provide 600 to 800 students from area high schools with access to real-world experiences in a variety of professions, including auto/diesel, audiovisual, cosmetology, culinary arts, construction management, marketing, STEM (electronics), and welding.
“We want to make this the best career center that we can put forward,” Jordan High School Principal Ross McAlpine said. “With a lot of the input we’ve received from our CTE teachers, community members, business partners, and trips we’ve taken, I think we really have a good school.”
Design concepts call for a visible site with a secure, separate main entrance for visitors located off Kelley Street. An equally welcoming entry for students will be located in the back near the bus drop off, a measure that will help alleviate traffic in the surrounding area.
A central administration area would be on the first level, along with an automotive shop, culinary lab, cosmetology area, marketing commons, TV studio, and childcare facility. At the core of the school, a learning commons with a large learning staircase will be available for students to gather for studying or impromptu lectures.
On the second level, the human sciences wing will host programs such as allied health, pre-nursing, dental and medical biotech. Math, construction and production programs will also be located on the top floor.
Construction on the new high school is expected to start later this year and take approximately 15-18 months to complete.
“This is one of the most impressive buildings that I’ve seen,” said HISD Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones, who attended the second community meeting. “The specifications and detail accurately captures what most of us have been envisioning for a CTE building. I’m hugely impressed.”
Applications for the Barbara Jordan Career Hub currently are being accepted from 10th-grade students zoned to Davis, Furr, Kashmere, North Forest, Reagan, Sam Houston, Washington, Wheatley, and Yates high schools.
“The school’s design is pretty amazing. I’ve never really seen anything like this growing up,” said Jordan student Jasmine Mercier. “I think it’s a great way to get students more engaged and motivated to get a hands-on feeling of what things are like in the career world, and get that college feel.”