2018—Industrial Trades Center

Texas City ISD—Industrial Trades Center
Architect: IBI Group

The Industrial Trades Center is a program that supports students across Galveston County as well as the industry workforce. The program fosters partnerships with business and industry leaders to train students for skilled labor jobs.

  • Maritime (OSHA, NCCER)
  • Construction Trades (OSHA, NCCER)
  • Welding (OSHA, NCCER, AWS)
  • Pipefitting (OSHA, NCER)
  • Instrumentation and Electrical (OSHA, NCCER)\
  • Machinist (NCCER)


The facility is located on a highly visible main street giving it a dominant prominence within the community. The concept is simple, a single story, 2-wing arrangement with a central, secure entry leading to a multi-purpose room and administration offices. The rear wing includes state-of-the-art workforce classrooms, labs, and shops. The exterior references the aesthetic of the District’s buildings already situated on the street with cohesive subtlety elegant brick patterns mixed with stone.


The educational facility replaced a church that was demolished; however, site design allowed for inclusion of the preserved circular parking and large live oak trees. Durable, low-maintenance HVAC systems, LED lighting, and sustainable materials were utilized including masonry, stone, curtainwall, impact resistant drywall, and exposed wood decking in the main lobby. The facility was engineered to hurricane windstorm standards providing a centralized storm refuge during an emergency situation.


Recycled materials from the church were used as interior and exterior finishes for their durability. The school’s compact and efficient rectilinear layout, high-performance glazing, and building envelope reduced HVAC costs. Exterior shading devices, large roof overhangs, and a long-axis east-west building orientation enhanced the organic energy modeling. An existing, pre-engineered building was repurposed with a similar exterior aesthetic to serve future workforce training.

Community—Star of DistinctionCommunity

Responding to local industry and demographic needs for skilled labor, the District with business partnerships created this facility to train students for specialty trade jobs. The purpose was to co-create a clear vision for the new school, identify concerns, seek buy-in and provide functional results. The final design engages the students and welcomes the local community. Certification programs include maritime, instrumentation and electrical, construction, welding, machinist, and pipefitting.


A Community Action Team was formed to support and guide the District to a viable facility with highly marketable trade programs. This joint-use space offers knowledge sharing and training to community members. Industry partners sponsored equipment and live training simulators for up-to-date workforce training practices. Industry fabricated sculptures and signage depicting skilled labor jobs leads visitors to designated spaces. Organizational endorsements are showcased with interior graphics.

Transformation—Star of DistinctionSchool Transformation

This truly transformative learning environment that was long overdue for the District. Through maritime simulators, heavy equipment, mobile cranes, bulldozers, forklifts, plant instrumentation, and electrical training, this facility combined with its prominent location is an innovative environment of interaction and learning for all. Flex spaces, enhanced resources, and the demand for specialty workforce development programs for the gulf coast region warrant the need for future expansion.


Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner