Blog

After Hours - Community Use of School Facilities After the Bell Rings by Scot Woodin, AIA | Principal While not a new concept, after hours use of school buildings has become far more complex.  Taxpayer funded school facilities that offer academic, enrichment or other services to the general-public after and perhaps even during the school day, must balance …
Community Participation in the Design Process - 5 Tips to Building Successful Project Support by Carl Franceschi, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, MCPPO | Principal In any public construction project, engaging the community stakeholders is vital for a successful outcome. Whether the task is to renovate, add, or demolish an existing building and replace it with new construction achieving buy-in from all interested …
Designing Breakout Spaces for Schools - by Ann Marie Procopio, IIDA, Director of Interior Design + Associate When space is at a premium, finding places for students to meet or gather outside of the classroom is invaluable. These spaces can be created throughout the school such as the end of a corridor, at the intersection of corridors, or an area just …
Career Tech Education for All - The Next Step in the Evolution of CTE by Carl Franceschi, AIA, LEED, MCPPO | President, DRA Career Technical Education (CTE) has evolved to become a valuable, robust, and flexible form of instruction that would be beneficial to all students, not just those enrolled in technical or vocational schools. This is the next step in …
Repurposing Educational Facilities for 21st Century Learning - by James A. Barrett, AIA, LEED, REFP Every day in America, 59 million of us go to school.  Whether as students, teachers, or educational employees, each day we spend time in the nation’s 120,000 school buildings.  Of these buildings, nearly 75% were built before 1970.  This aging infrastructure often poses physical, operational, and educational challenges …
Changes in Libraries - by Ken Best, AIA, ALA As library designers we have seen libraries change and evolve.  Today’s modern library is a different experience than the clichéd silent building of yesteryear.  Let’s explore some of the more significant changes. Entering an older library, we are used to seeing a large, high, circulation desk with staff, heads down …
Rethinking the School Garden - Some may wonder why schools are good places for gardening, but evidence shows that gardens can actually be great places for schooling. In fact, the US used to have many more at school gardens, which helped lead students to many state universities that began as agricultural schools.
Makerspaces in Your School? - Makerspaces are increasingly popular outlets for the Do It Yourself movement, and students and adults stand to learn a lot from them.
Learning Commons Reflect Larger Shifts in Education - Libraries have been around since librarians wore togas to work. That they’ve been such a mainstay in cultures across the globe and over centuries reflects their value to society. Since then, of course, there have been monumental shifts for the library: who has access; what was kept in them; even how they are organized. After the Chinese Communist Revolution
Separate but Equal?   - All across the country, school districts are trying to figure out the best ways to accommodate transgender students. Our ongoing national discussion regarding increased access to gender-neutral public facilities has also drawn attention to a number of practical design concerns which need to be addressed in any new or soon-to-be-renovated school facility.

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