Construction and design firms, along with project stakeholders across the Texas and Louisiana region, submitted more than 80 entries in this year's regional Best Projects competition. Our independent panel of judges, representing diverse fields of expertise, selected 39 winners across 19 categories, described in detail in the following pages.

Photo by G. Lyon Photography Inc.
Community Asset: The newly restored exterior of the Leonel J. Castillo Community Center preserved three primary exterior walls, the main front facade and wing walls.

This year's award winners represented a wide array of construction projects in varied markets that were completed in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014.

As always, safety is a major component in ENR's Best Projects contest. The Excellence in Safety award is now in its third year as part of the competition, with more than 50 entries submitted in this category, making for stiff competition. The panel of safety judges chose to honor one Excellence in Safety winner and three merit winners. Each of these projects has an outstanding safety record plus innovative jobsite-specific programs and procedures.

Eighteen projects won Best Project awards in their respective categories. These projects will advance to the national competition to be considered for one of ENR's Best of the Best awards.

In selecting the winners, our judging panel was charged with finding the teams that truly demonstrated an ability to find creative solutions in the face of unique and sometimes formidable challenges.

This year's Best Project of the Year for the region came down to two finalists: the Leonel J. Castillo Community Center (Best Project, Renovation/Restoration) and the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library (Best Project, Government/Public Buildings). The judges' final selection for 2014 Project of the Year—the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library—is featured on page TX26.

Read on to learn more about what made this year's top projects possible as well as the innovations achieved and challenges faced by the teams on each of this year's winners.

Texas & Louisiana Project of the Year

East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library (Baton Rouge, La.)


Best Project: UAS Hangar (Fort Hood, Texas)

Award of Merit: DFW International Airport Terminal B North Stinger (Dallas, Texas)


Best Project: Thinkery (Austin, Texas)


Best Project: VersaCutter (Belle Chasse, La.)

Award of Merit: Entergy Midtown 230kv Substation Demolition & Rebuild (New Orleans, La.)

Government/Public Buildings

Best Project: East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library (Baton Rouge, La.)

Award of Merit: Design-Build Recruit Family Inprocessing and Information Center at Lackland AFB (San Antonio, Texas)

Award of Merit: New Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Minden (Minden, La.)

Award of Merit: U.S. Coast Guard Houston-Galveston Sector Building (Houston, Texas)

Green Project

Best Project: TreeHouse Memorial City (Houston, Texas)

Health Care

Best Project: University Health System New Trauma Tower (San Antonio, Texas)

Award of Merit: Memorial Hermann Healthcare System East Tower (The Woodlands and Shenandoah, Texas)

Award of Merit: Methodist Olive Branch Hospital (Olive Branch, Miss.)

Award of Merit: Victory Medical Center (San Antonio, Texas)

Higher Education/Research

Best Project: MD Anderson Research Facility at Life Science Plaza (Houston, Texas)


Best Project: West 7th Street Bridge (Fort Worth, Texas)

Award of Merit: Chisholm Trail Parkway Section 6 Design-Build (Johnson and Tarrant Counties, Texas)

Award of Merit: Manor Expressway (Austin, Texas)

K-12 Education

Best Project: Billy Earl Dade Middle School (Dallas, Texas)

Award of Merit: The Girls’ School of Austin New Campus (Austin, Texas)

Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Development

Best Project: The Crest at Galvez Plaza (Baton Rouge, La.)


Best Project: Triumph Aerostructures Vought Aircraft Division Manufacturing Facility (TARO 2) (Red Oak, Texas)

Office/Retail/Mixed-Use Developments

Best Project: TRT Holdings Headquarters (Dallas, Texas)

Award of Merit: HEB Stone Oak (San Antonio, Texas)

Award of Merit: The Phipps (San Antonio, Texas)


Best Project: Leonel J Castillo Community Center (Houston, Texas)

Award of Merit: Bethel Park (Houston, Texas)

Award of Merit: KIPP Austin Public Schools South Campus (Austin, Texas)


Best Project: 2400 Nueces (Austin, Texas)

Award of Merit: The Residences at Stoneleigh Condominiums (Dallas, Texas)


Best Project: Design-Build Recruit Family Inprocessing and Information Center at Lackland AFB (San Antonio, Texas)

Award of Merit: DFW International Airport Terminal B North Stinger (Dallas, Texas)

Award of Merit: TreeHouse Memorial City (Houston, Texas)

Award of Merit: TRT Holdings Headquarters (Dallas, Texas)

Small Projects (under $10 million)

Best Project: Southern Hotel (Covington, La.)

Award of Merit: Richland-Chambers Pipeline Lowering (Rice, Texas)

Award of Merit: Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth Phase 3 (Fort Worth, Texas)

Award of Merit: Turrell Retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, Texas)

Specialty Contracting

Best Project: Rubicon-MDI-1 Re-instrumentation and DCS Upgrade Project (Geismar, La.)

Award of Merit: University Health System - Sky Tower at University Hospital (San Antonio, Texas)


Best Project: Southwest University Park (El Paso, Texas)

Water/ Environment

Best Project: Tarrant Regional Water District Richland Chambers Wetlands (Streetman, Texas)

Award of Merit: LPV 9.2 Lakefront Pump Stations No. 1 thru 4 and Breakwater Modifications (New Orleans, La.)