Midland Lee High School – Final from Parkhill, Smith & Cooper on Vimeo.

The chatter of Midland Lee High School students, teachers and architects Shane Danley and RJ Lopez fill the room. Site plans of the campus are laid in the centers of several tables. The students surrounding the tables are given moveable pieces in the shapes of the campus buildings and the instructions, “Make it what you want it to be.”

“Their first inclination was just to put the building where the building was,” Shane said, “so to break them out of that mold, to begin to get them to stretch their imagination on how things can work—I hope they understand how difficult the process is and when these issues come up that they need to be involved even if they’re not in architecture.”

Shane and RJ were invited to Midland Lee High School to talk about the field of architecture from the education requirements to the design process, and how the students can contribute to design without being architects themselves. Shane said the traditional education requirements for an architect are approximately a 12-year process but there may be other options to become involved that have different or possibly fewer requirements.

“I think it’s very interesting,” said Jonathan Marmolejo, Midland Lee High School student, “because this has obviously been here for forever, longer than I’ve been here. Just being able to remodel it and seeing what could go where and building around like if something is set in stone and having to build around it to make just as an efficient place and putting certain things together like the auditorium with band or library, stuff like that.”

Lori Petrich, Midland Lee High School teacher, said that she spoke with Jay Edwards, PE, chief operating officer at PSC, about having PSC partner with Midland ISD. She said having Shane and RJ visit has reinforced several lessons that the students have been discussing this semester.

“These guys are on a career track,” Lori said, “so just building relationships with you guys and asking questions—I think that will really just reiterate their goals for the future.”