Spring Branch ISD Featured News

Architecture students build bridges from classroom to real-world experiences



In Spring Branch ISD, students are setting themselves apart by gaining valuable experiences and exploring real-world scenarios through the various Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs offered. 

Recently, Architectural Design students participated in an architectural jury, where they designed an educational facility and were given feedback based on space, form, texture and composition.

Many students chose to redesign the Guthrie Center for their project. The district offers CTE programming at campuses district-wide, with the Guthrie Center serving as the central CTE facility. The Guthrie Center will be replaced under the 2022 Bond Program. The students presented their projects to judges Melissa Turnbaugh, a PBK Architects partner who is part of the team working on the replacement of the Guthrie Center, and Chris Olson, SBISD’s Guthrie Center 3-D animation teacher. 

“I’m very excited for the students’ fresh ideas!” said Turnbaugh. “This is very helpful, as it is valuable to get the user perspective and take note of what is important to the individuals whom the building will be serving.” 

The students designed 3-D computer models of their educational facilities, which allowed the judges to better understand their ideas. One project presented will be entered into the SchoolsNEXT Design Competition, a national annual competition that challenges students to design a learning environment. 

CTE aligns with SBISD’s T-2-4 vision of having every graduate attain a technical certificate, military training or a two-year or four-year degree. Programs provide students with opportunities to explore career interests and experience hands-on learning from industry experts. This hands-on exposure to academic and career interests ensures CTE students are prepared for post-secondary success.

Abigail Torres, a senior at Spring Woods HS, was excited to present her project. 

“This assignment was a great learning opportunity for me,” said Abigail. “I was able to dive into the process of designing an entire facility. There are a lot of components to it and I now understand it much better.” 

Abigail plans to attend community college post-graduation and pursue a career in architecture. 

Guthrie Center’s architecture teachers Fuad Loutfi and Xavier Martinez guided students through the project and provided them with real-world advice, as they both have extensive experience as architects themselves. They are proud of their students and thrilled to see them present such an intricate project. 

“This was the perfect opportunity to instill in our students creativity, innovation and real-life application,” said Loutfi. “They excelled in their presentations and I am excited to see all they accomplish at the Guthrie Center and beyond!”

See the full album of students presenting their projects!