Lone Star College System—Creekside Center
Architect: PBK Architects
This new workforce training facility represents an innovative college development providing much-needed community impact with immense public value. The primary function of the campus is to train workforce candidates for regional support in technical, industrial and energy industries. Programs are designed to yield industry certifications for various relevant workforce skills.
This facility offers much-needed business and local industry training for the surrounding community. By locating the center within the chosen community and providing ample on-site parking, campus students, faculty and visitors can easily reduce commute times by walking, biking or driving. Because of its central location and ease of access to a large residential population, the facility is now being considered for service as a precinct voting location.
The design blends seamlessly into the context of its surroundings, successfully bridging the gap between residential and retail developments. Exterior use of natural stone and earth tone finishes effectively showcase the craftsman style architecture, delivering a nature-based, human scale to the project. All instructional and research areas enjoy natural light. Preservation of on-site vegetation was successfully achieved through thoughtful configuration of building and parking/circulation zones.
The planning process comprised numerous interactive work sessions with multiple stakeholder and user groups. Design sessions included users, architects, key consultants, and the contractor (delivery method was CMR). The design team took tours of similar facilities to explore multiple options. Design meetings took place on site to encourage full user group participation. “Red dot, green dot” visioning exercises and 3D visualization tools were utilized to develop the design solution.
The project team was able to preserve a majority of natural vegetation on site, and greatly exceeded the forest preserve requirements (at site perimeter) imposed by the local municipality. High performance, eco-responsive features of the design include: high solar reflectance roof, bicycle racks, low cut-off site lighting fixtures; filtered water bottle fillers; water efficient landscaping; water saving plumbing fixtures; high efficiency A/C units; maximize preservation of natural vegetation.
Low-maintenance, highly durable finishes maintain quality and lower life-cycle costs. Value-added areas include a multi-purpose student lounge housing modular, mobile furniture groupings to accommodate varying group sizes; after-hours community access to the building for night courses; the centralized, multi-purpose space is completely agile, adding program flexibility to the function of the entire campus.
Featuring a multipurpose community stairway for social and educational functions, the lobby serves a strategically placed multipurpose room that can be used for career fairs, course registration overflow, community meetings, and other large group/community events. All interior seating and gathering areas contain technology-ready furnishings outfitted with power outlets and USB device charging stations. Campus-wide, high-bandwidth WiFi connectivity compliments mobile learning requirements.
Star of Distinction Category Winner