Case Study

San Jacinto College

Maritime Academy Technology and Training Center

San Jacinto College, recently named one of the top five community colleges in the nation, has served the greater Houston area since 1961. Aligned with the local maritime industry—one of the strongest in the Gulf Coast region—its maritime program saw rapid growth due to a shortage of qualified workers. The new Maritime Technology and Training Center was a direct response to industry demand, and reflects a true partnership between the College and Gulf Coast businesses looking for a local site to train skilled technicians.

Drawing on its broad experience with higher education technical facilities, Salas O’Brien provided the project with mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering. The 45,000-square-foot venture included the creation of 15 classrooms as well as engineering simulators. These simulators train maritime engineers how to handle hydraulic, electric, pump control, motor control, heating and air conditioning, and refrigeration tasks. Three room-sized ship’s-bridge simulators are part of a 3,748-square-foot simulation suite, complete with instructor stations, debrief classrooms, and development stations.

Highlights of the center also include a training dock with lifeboats, davits, and fast rescue craft, as well as a separate industry dock for crew changes. All this also allows for vessel-specific training for local maritime companies and serves as an aquatic training facility for sea survival in life raft training, complete with men’s and women’s locker rooms.

The center was awarded the Landmark Award (Educational Facility category) by the Houston Business Journal. It is a superb synthesis of educational and commercial interests, and will serve its students and the maritime community for many years to come.



La Porte, Texas

Construction Cost:
$4.5 Million

Project Size:
45,000 Square Feet

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineering

Landmark Award (Educational Facility category), Houston Business Journal