(WACO) – Bobby Horner, Craig Johnson and Edward Hernandez attended Texas State Technical College in different decades but are united through their majors and work helping Waco grow responsibly.
The men all graduated from TSTC with what were then Associate of Applied Science degrees in Architectural Drafting and Design. Horner received his degree in 1978, Johnson graduated in 1981 and Hernandez walked across the stage for his degree in 1998.
Today, Horner is an inspection supervisor, Johnson is a plans examiner and Hernandez is a building inspector – all for the city of Waco.
“All of us have either had our own business with design and drafting or worked with architects and smaller projects,” Horner said. “We have the training of design and drafting to pull from.”
The three have roles, along with their co-workers, in the planning and construction of structures in the city. And Waco is seeing a lot of development, from the eight-story Marriott Springhill Suites planned for South Jack Kultgen Expressway to apartment development on Bagby Avenue near the Central Texas Marketplace.
“I don’t see a lot of letup, personally,” Horner said. “It’s exciting to me.”
Johnson sits in on weekly municipal predevelopment meetings to discuss several facets of proposed projects, from easements to fire, health and safety matters. The meetings are times to ask questions and develop solutions to make the permit process and construction flow.
Hernandez said the use of modern business materials, such as cardboard siding, has kept himself and his co-workers learning about new construction techniques.
“My background in drafting and design helped me transition into being a plans examiner,” Hernandez said. “Because I knew how plans were put together, I know what to look for.”
Horner said people interested in pursuing drafting and design should have an understanding of construction materials and terminology.
Hernandez said drafting and design graduates can work for companies who will teach them the specific software being used.
The men are members of the Bluebonnet Chapter of the International Code Council encompassing Central Texas. They can earn continuing education credits to keep organization certifications updated.
Horner, 59, grew up in Hamilton and graduated from Hamilton High School in 1976. He said TSTC was his top option because he enjoyed drawing and worked with a builder when he was in high school. Both his grandfathers worked in construction and he also had friends who worked in roofing.
Horner fondly remembers technical college life.
“My dorm room was one of the officers’ barracks,” he said.
Johnson, 56, graduated in 1979 from Midway High School in Woodway. Johnson said he went while growing up to the Lake Air Drive-In where Richland Mall is now located.
Johnson’s interest in drafting and design was piqued as a child while riding his bicycle and exploring Woodway.
“There were a lot of homes being built,” he said. “It fascinated me how the homes were put together. When we moved to Woodway, the western part from Poage Drive was not built.”
Hernandez, 54, grew up in San Antonio and graduated from Antonian College Preparatory High School. He served in the U.S. Navy for six years as a firefighting instructor. He worked in the construction industry before starting classes at TSTC when he was 35. He also taught for nine years at TSTC.
TSTC offers associate degrees in Architectural/Civil Drafting Technology and Mechanical/Electrical Drafting Technology.
TSTC is having summer Registration Rally events for prospective students to finalize plans to attend the fall semester. For more information, go to tstc.edu/rally.
For information on the TSTC Alumni Network, go to tstc.edu/tstcfoundation/alumni.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.