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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: Pioneering Efforts Continue Trade School Legacy

Worcester, Mass., is the birthplace of vocational education, beginning with the pioneering efforts of Milton P. Higgins, who opened the Worcester Trade School in 1908. The school's original facility served this central Massachusetts community for nearly 100 years until its state-of-the-art replacement opened in 2006 as the 1,500-student Worchester Technical High School.
Aug 11, 2010

BIM school, green school: California's newest high-performance school

Nestled deep in the Napa Valley, the city of American Canyon is one of a number of new communities in Northern California that have experienced tremendous growth in the last five years. Located 42 miles northeast of San Francisco, American Canyon had a population of just over 9,000 in 2000; by 2008, that figure stood at 15,276, with 28% of the population under age 18.
Aug 11, 2010

8 Tips for Converting Remnant Buildings Into Schools

Faced with overcrowded schools and ever-shrinking capital budgets, more and more school districts are turning to the existing building stock for their next school expansion project. Retail malls, big-box stores, warehouses, and even dingy old garages are being transformed into high-performance learning spaces, and at a fraction of the cost and time required to build classrooms from the ground up.
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.
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