Incarnate Word Academy: Expanding From Within


Incarnate Word Academy, an all-female, Catholic college preparatory school, was established in 1873 in Houston, Texas. To help create one cohesive campus and help prepare them for future growth,  E.E. Reed Construction was given the opportunity to construct a new academic building and conference center sandwiched between two existing buildings to create one cohesive building at their campus in Downtown Houston.

Innovation in Construction

The design for Incarnate Word Academy was driven by two things; the limited amount of space on the site and the request that the school be expanded from 300 to 350 students. This space also needed to include special program areas that the existing facility was lacking.

The result was a new, six-story educational facility to accommodate six additional classrooms, an art room, and a multi-purpose room to provide rehearsal space for dance, choir, and drama students. A large assembly space with the capacity to hold 100 students, meeting rooms, offices, work rooms, collaborative student spaces, and a flexible space for club meetings and campus ministry, were also needed. Being in the heart of Downtown Houston, Incarnate Word took advantage of the spectacular views of the city by adding a roof patio with a retractable awning and a lobby for classes, receptions, and fundraising events. The team also preserved the existing interior courtyard where students enjoy lunch daily.

The interior finishes were updated and blended with the original color scheme of red and white with touches of teal. Floors were upgraded to luxury vinyl tile and full-height glass doors and windows were added to meeting rooms and the campus ministry to help open up the space.

E.E. Reed prides itself on our ability to provide accurate value analysis/value engineering services for our clients. E.E. Reed unitizes value engineering as a tool to consistently help the Owner and Architect make informed decisions regarding the building systems and finishes. Considerations also include both initial and life-cycle costs for equipment.

E.E. Reed was proud to be able to provide value engineering alternatives for Incarnate Word Academy that saved 4% off of the original construction budget. This freed up dollars that Incarnate Word was able to allocate for much needed renovations in their existing administrative office area.


Incarnate Word Academy is extremely proud of their new, renovated facility. For the Incarnate Word community, this project was an opportunity to take three separate buildings that were constructed in 1979, 2006, and 2017 and create one cohesive building. E.E. Reed Construction completed the task while making sure the student body was able to continue their daily lives as usual.

Incarnate Word celebrated the completion of the addition and renovation with a blessing and building dedication for the entire campus and full streaming online. Incarnate Word is excited to be well prepped for educating young minds for years to come!