Building Professionals Institute – 25 Year History and the Future

The Building Professionals Institute (BPI) began 25 years ago as a simple idea for basic classes aimed at helping building officials and their staff.  At that time, the BOAT Board talked to Charles Clawson, building official for the City of Arlington, on how best to accomplish this need.  Charles contacted Dr. John Matthys, a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), and more discussion followed.  BOAT formed a BPI Committee to help manage and plan BPIs.   Clawson and Matthys along with BOAT decided to create a partnership with the Construction Research Center of UTA to house the classes.  It would become known as the Building Professionals Institute with the first one in 1992 held in Arlington with about 125 attendees.  News spread about this new educational opportunity and more classes and attendees followed.  Every year since then, BPI has grown.  Soon afterward, other BPIs were created for Houston, the Rio Grande Valley, and Austin.

Due to their dedication and diligence, Clawson and Matthys in cooperation with BOAT created an enduring legacy of education.  Today, we have many different tracks encompassing a variety of subjects and city departments.  BPI is now one of the largest educational construction seminars in the country.

Recently, Matthys decided to reduce his role in our BPIs for a much deserved rest.  We wish him well and thank him for all of his efforts these past 25 years.  We also thank Tina Menchey for her work as she has also retired.   Charles Clawson will remain on board as our BPI Committee Chair.

UTA has also made internal procedural changes and along with campus growth this has affected our ability to continue BPIs in Arlington.  As a result, BOAT has decided to move BPI to a new location.  We plan to hold our next May 2018 BPI in Irving at the Irving Convention Center.  This is a much newer venue, built in 2011 as a mixed use area with several hotels nearby.  Parking is also provided onsite.  In addition, DART is available which makes this a unique location with accessible transit options.  It is a large facility with extra space for growth.

As many of you may know, BOAT, BPI, and ICC enhanced their working relationship at our 25th BPI.  From all indications and feedback thus far, it was well received with classes and certification testing offered during the educational week.  The BOAT-ICC affiliation has potential for expanding our BPI on a national scale. This relates to our need for a newer, larger facility.

Currently, BOAT has several plans for BPI and its operation.  We are fortunate to have Charles Clawson to help lead our transition planning for the next BPI.  Before the end of this year, we will unveil a new BPI website, logo, flyers, and informational emails along with registration in cooperation with ICC.  In addition, our BPI Committee continues to monitor our progress with updates to our BOAT Board.

BOAT is tremendously grateful to everyone throughout the many years of BPI; especially our moderators, instructors, and vendors.  Again, we cannot overemphasize our appreciation for the help of Charles Clawson and Dr. John Matthys and their continued support.  We remain in contact with them and our BOAT Board on the many decisions being made for our future.

From its humble beginnings, BPI has evolved into a complete educational opportunity which benefits all of us in many ways.  Every year, we are pleased to offer this to our membership, and we thank all of you for helping make our Building Professionals Institutes such a success!

See you next May at our BPI in Irving!


Irving Convention Center

Submitted by Selso Mata and Lawrence Crow

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