This tour of the new Construction Sciences Building will illustrate how industry-academic partnerships led to the creation of a cutting-edge and student-centered facility that reimagines vocational education. With a shortage of skilled labor in the construction industry, this facility will close that gap while creating an attractive, career-focused educational alternative to the traditional four-year college education.


  1. Reimagine and elevate the image of workforce training as an attractive and financially viable career alternative to the traditonal, four-year college degree and creating an enhanced sense of student pride in vocational education. 
  2. Illustrate the way this facility enhances the student experience and and encourages interaction by blending different types of educational spaces such as classrooms mixed with hands-on learning labs distributed around informal collaborative spaces.
  3. Intentionally integrating didactic elements into the building design to create a “Machine for Learning” – a building that teaches – can reinformce the concpets and skills taught in the classroom and enhance the overall student learning experience.
  4. Highlight sustainable design strategies in pursuit of LEED Silver, including enhanced indoor air quaility measures such as low emitting materials, CO2 sensors and the installation of outdoor air monitoring system to optimize indoor air quality.
  5. Establishing Industry-Academic Partnerships to develop industry-led programs that focus on real-world, valued career skills enhances as institution’s academic offerings and uspports students in easily transitioning from college into the workplace to take their first steps into life-long careers.


Dr. Christa Slejko has served as President of North Lake College (NLC) since fall of 2011. Prior to this appointment, she served as NLC Vice President of Business Services responsible for the budget, facilities, IT, and other operations of the college. Christa began her career at DCCCD at Mountain View College in Information Technology, and was an adjunct instructor in Computer Science and Human Development. Christa serves the community on several fronts. She is on the Board of the Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, serving as Vice Chair of the International Affairs and Sister Cities committee; she serves on the Development Committee of the Irving Schools Foundation, is on the Advisory Board of The Study, the innovation center of Irving, a member of the Dallas Promise Alignment Council, and a member of the Executive Women’s Roundtable. She helped create the sustainability identity of which North Lake College is so proud, and is leading the college into a deeper study of social justice and equity. She is a champion for professional development often volunteering to develop and facilitate training programs.

Tobias Newham joined the Beck Group in 2014 after 17 years working on Mixed Use commercial projects in the United States and abroad. Since joining The Beck group, Tobias has led the design efforts on a variety of Higher Education and Cultural projects in the Texas and Mexico. Currently he is the Senior Designer for the firm's Higher Education market sector in Dallas, helping Universities to realize their visions while maintaining budget and schedule goals. Mr. Newham has been a leader in implementing Target Value Design within Beck's Integrated Project Delivery method.