Harper Woods School District College + Career Institute

Harper Woods, Michigan


  • Harper Woods Schools

    Project Size

  • 29,000 SF


Harper Woods Schools sought to create an environment where students can pursue a variety of career paths. They envisioned a Career Institute where they could provide career and technical education to instill in their students professional skills, people skills, and the ability to collaborate as a team to compete in a global society.


Given the district’s aim to foster interaction amongst students and faculty, openness and flexibility were key factors in our design of the space. In today’s business environment, open collaborative spaces are the norm; what you work on affects those working with and around you. The district wanted to reinforce this culture in their new space.

We achieved openness and flexibility in our design by the use of moveable partitions in conjunction with a fixed hard wall that separates each of the program spaces. This allows instructors to shape their teaching spaces to meet the specific needs of their students.

Programs offered within the facility include auto trades, computer systems networking, culinary arts, cybersecurity, graphic design, and a sound studio for radio, television, and film. In the future, two more programs will be implemented to include sports medicine therapy and skilled trades.


The new Career Institute supports the district’s efforts to close the achievement gap and continue to grow quality programs, good teachers, and a safe and clean environment. In the new center, students have the opportunity to get direct, one-on-one advice from those who have succeeded in business, providing them with knowledge to pursue a number of career pathways.