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K-12 school sector trends for 2023

Budgeting and political pressures aside, the K-12 school building sector continues to evolve. Security remains a primary objective, as does offering students more varied career options. 

K-12 Schools

Designing K-12 schools for students and safety

While bullying, mental health, and other acts of violence are all too common in schools today, designers have shown that smart and subtle preventive steps can make a big difference. Clark Nexsen’s Becky Brady shares how prevention and taking action at the design level can create safe and engaging learning environments. 

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K-12 Schools

How do you create an inspiring space that has to survive the wear and tear, daily, of hundreds or maybe even thousands of kids and teens? Not only will the design be challenging, but the district’s budget may be an obstacle of its own. However, with the right approach, a school can be the foundation of a generation.

Aug 11, 2010

Special Recognition: Kingswood School Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Kingswood School is perhaps the best example of Eliel Saarinen's work in North America. Designed in 1930 by the Finnish-born architect, the building was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style, with wide overhanging hipped roofs, long horizontal bands of windows, decorative leaded glass doors, and asymmetrical massing of elements.
Aug 11, 2010

Joint-Use Facilities Where Everybody Benefits

Shouldn’t major financial investments in new schools benefit both the students and the greater community? Conventional wisdom says yes, of course. That logic explains the growing interest in joint-use schools—innovative facilities designed with shared spaces that address the education needs of students and the community’s need for social, recreation, and civic spaces.
Aug 11, 2010

Education's Big Upgrade

Forty-five percent of the country's elementary, middle, and high schools were built between 1950 and 1969 and will soon reach the end of their usefulness, according to the 2005–2008 K-12 School Market for Design & Construction Firms, published by ZweigWhite, a Massachusetts-based market-research firm.
Aug 11, 2010

Burr Elementary School

In planning the Burr Elementary School in Fairfield, Conn., the school's building committee heeded the words of William Wordsworth: Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher. They selected construction manager Turner Construction Company, New York, and the New York office of A/E firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to integrate nature on the heavily wooded 15.
Aug 11, 2010

Bronze Award: Trenton Daylight/Twilight High School Trenton, N.J.

The story of the Trenton Daylight/Twilight High School is one of renewal and rebirth—both of the classic buildings that symbolize the city's past and the youth that represent its future. The $39 million, 101,000-sf urban infill project locates the high school—which serves recent dropouts and students who are at risk of dropping out—within three existing vacant buildings.
Aug 11, 2010

New school designs don't go by the book

America needs more schools. Forty-five percent of the nation's elementary, middle, and high schools were built between 1950 and 1969, according market research firm ZweigWhite, Natick, Mass. Yet even as the stock of K-12 schools ages and declines, school enrollments continue to climb. The National Center for Education Statistics predicts that enrollment in public K-12 schools will keep rising...
Aug 11, 2010

Bronze Award: Lincoln High School Tacoma, Wash.

Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Wash., was built in 1913 and spent nearly a century morphing into a patchwork of outdated and confusing additions. A few years ago, the Tacoma School District picked Lincoln High School, dubbed “Old Main,” to be the first high school in the district to be part of its newly launched Small Learning Communities program.
Aug 11, 2010

Bronze Award: Hawthorne Elementary School, Elmhurst, Ill.

At 121 years, Hawthorne School is the oldest elementary school building in the Elmhurst, Ill., school district and a source of pride for the community. Unfortunately, decades of modifications and short-sighted planning had rendered it dysfunctional in terms of modern educational delivery. At the same time, increasing enrollment was leading to overcrowding, with the result that the library, for ...
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