Category Archives: Blog

Reusing / Recycling / Repurposing Educational Facilities

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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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Engaging Children in Design and Construction

“How long does it take to draw the building?” “Where will the bus drop me off?” “Why is there a ramp?” These are just a few of the many questions that children are asking in the Design & Construction Mentoring Program at the Orchard Hill Elementary School. The program developed by DRA Architects and Gilbane Building Company is proving to be a big success Continue reading

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