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COVID-19 and Schools

Victory Innovations Adds $10M Incentive to Annual Student Health Campaign

Victory Innovations, a provider of surface disinfection solutions, announced that it is expanding its yearly “Keep Kids Healthy” campaign, which launched in 2018. The company will donate electrostatic sprayers to underserved schools, and it will offer more than $10 million in product discounts to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in newly reopened educational environments.

John Muir Language Academy Rendering

Campus Modernization

San Diego Unified School District Breaks Ground on Two Modernization Projects

The San Diego Unified School District has officially begun modernization projects on two of its schools: La Jolla Elementary School and John Muir Language Academy. California builders C.W. Driver Companies broke ground on both construction projects last week.

VS America Webinar

Campus Facilities

VS America to Host Webinar About COVID-19 Relief Funds

VS America, a leading provider of school and office furniture solutions, will host a webinar on Wednesday, April 14, titled “Learn How to Transform Learning Spaces Using COVID-19 Relief Funds.”

Campus Operations

Becker College to Close at End of Academic Year

Becker College, a small private college with campuses in Worcester and Leicester, Mass., announced on Monday that it will shut down at the end of the academic year. The college’s permanent closure is due to financial difficulties exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

University of Pennsylvania Biotech Commons

Campus Renovations

UPenn Library Transforms into High-Tech Hub

The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa., is in the process of revamping its outdated biomedical library into what a press release calls “an open center for cross-disciplinary learning, prototyping, and collaboration.” The university is working with Voith and Mactavish Architects LLP (VMA) to finish the renovations by June 2021 and open the building to students for the fall 2021 academic semester.

Campus Technology

vFairs to Offer Virtual Graduation Ceremonies

vFairs, a hybrid and virtual event platform, will be offering its services to public schools, colleges, and universities as the second graduation season of the COVID-19 pandemic draws closer.

COVID-19 and Schools

Data Analysis Reveals Increased K-12 Digital Engagement

A news release from CatchOn, a data analytics and application monitoring solution used by K-12 schools, reveals that digital engagement among students has increased during the pandemic. A comprehensive data analysis suggests that even if districts saw a sharp dip during the beginning of remote learning, the level of engagement has since spiked above normal, pre-pandemic standards.

Campus Technology

NY School Sees AV Equipment Overhaul

An upstate New York public school recently saw a major upgrade to its AV capabilities through a partnership with Ashly Audio and Advance Sound Company. Stissing Mountain Junior/Senior High School of the Pine Plains Central School District in Pine Plains, N.Y., updated its suite of audio amplification and control solutions to serve not just the school’s students and faculty, but the wider community.

Transportation

Illinois School Districts Purchase V2G-Capable School Buses

Two Illinois public school districts recently purchased electric school buses from Georgia-based bus manufacturer Blue Bird Corporation. These buses are both the first operational electric school buses in the state, as well as the first commercial application of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology in the country.

Floating Solar Farms

University Research

University Researchers Model Effects of Floating Solar Farms

Solar panel arrays that cover canals and other waterways—also known as floating solar farms—have become an increasingly intriguing possibility as sustainable energy practices gain momentum. Researchers from the University of Stirling in Stirling, Scotland, and Lancaster University in Lancashire, England, have finished the first detailed model of floating solar installations’ environmental effects on the bodies of water they cover.



Sustainability

Arkansas School Converts Utilities Savings to Teacher Raises

The Batesville School District in Batesville, Ark., isn’t the first school district to save money on utilities by switching to solar power. It may, however, be the among the first to pass those savings directly to teachers.

Clean Air

CSU Study Reveals Potential Health Consequences of Air Purifiers

During the COVID-19 pandemic, air purifiers are growing in popularity as a method of cleansing interior spaces of the airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, a new study from Colorado State University has revealed some of the unintended consequences of some of these devices.

NJ County Prep High School Recording Equipment

School Facilities

NJ High School Adds New Recording Studio to Learning Spaces

A career and technical high school in New Jersey has added new professional recording gear to one of its teaching spaces. County Prep High School, part of Hudson County Schools of Technology, added hardware from Solid State Logic (SSL), a UK-based company that manufactures analog and digital audio consoles for music and audio production. Students in the music and audio technology program learn how to write their own songs and produce their own music.

Radnor High School Accessibility Upgrades

Campus Renovations

PA High School to Undertake 24M in Accessibility Upgrades to Sports Fields

After four years of discussions and stakeholder input, a high school in Pennsylvania is undertaking a $24.4 million project to improve its accessibility. Radnor High School, part of Radnor Township School District, recently received board approval to begin its "accessibility and wellness infrastructure project." The money will come from a capital reserve fund.

School Construction

High-School Consolidation Could Force Teacher Furloughs

Construction on the new Wilkes-Barre Area High School in Plains Township, Pa., is nearing completion. The district plans to merge its three high schools into the new building upon its opening, which could force as many as 37 teachers to be furloughed.

Modernization Project

Florida High School Begins $48.5M Renovation Project

Clearwater High School, part the of Pinellas County School System in Clearwater, Fla., has officially begun a $48.5 million modernization project. The school was originally built in the 1950s, and the project will involve demolishing 17 buildings around campus, constructing seven new ones, and renovating five more.

Colorado State University Lory Student Center

Energy

Colorado State Student Project Adds 114-Megawatt Solar Array

A student-driven initiative at Colorado State University has added almost 114 megawatt hours of clean electricity to the Fort Collins-based university's annual solar generation. The purchase of an 80-kilowatt, $100,000 photovoltaic solar array was funded almost entirely by student fees allocated through the Associated Students of Colorado State University (ASCSU), beginning in 2019.

NuCloud interactive campus maps and virtual tours

Campus Technology

Modern Campus Adding Interactive Map, Virtual Tour Capabilities to Content System

A higher education technology company with a content management system has bought another company that produces online campus maps. Modern Campus, which produces Omni CMS, has acquired nuCloud, which develops customizable, interactive campus maps and virtual tours.

Solar Energy

San Jacinto College Goes Solar

San Jacinto College, located in the metroplex area of Houston, Texas, has announced plans to add solar electricity arrays to two of its buildings. The arrays, designed and installed by Sunfinity Renewable Energy, are set to lower the school’s utility costs by millions and contribute to better air quality in the area.

Washington University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry

Campus Renovations

KWK Architects Completes Renovations at Wash U School of Medicine

KWK Architects recently completed a design and renovation project for the Washington University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry at Renard Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. The 1950s-era hospital’s second, third, and fourth floors were renovated to centralize the department and provide office and teaching space.

University of Minnesota boathouse

Campus Renovations

Specialty Contractors Waterproof University Boathouse Practice Tank

Two Minneapolis contracting firms recently partnered to make some long-needed repairs to the University of Minnesota’s on-campus boathouse.

School Opening

New Oregon Technical College Set to Open in April

Baker Technical Institute, a technical college whose main campus is in Baker City, Ore., announced this week that it’s opening a second location in Prineville, Ore., about 200 miles west. The institute will open next month to provide career and technical training to Central Oregon residents to meet the needs of skilled labor in the area.

Lyford Cay International School Gateway Building

Construction

Bahamas IB School Opens New Academic Building

The Lyford Cay International Baccalaureate School, located in Nassau, The Bahamas, has opened its newest academic building to students. Designed by Cooper Robertson, the 35,000-square-foot Gateway Building will house 350 students from sixth through twelfth grade. The facility is also the first completed step—and the intended centerpiece—of a new 17-acre Upper School campus currently under development.

Marshall Electronics and MXL Microphone products

Campus Technology

Marshall Electronics, MXL Microphones Offer Remote Learning Tech

Marshall Electronics and MXL Microphones have recently reintroduced a line of user-friendly cameras and microphones for use in remote learning. Products like the Marshall CV503-U3 camera and the MXL AC-44 microphone offer relatively simple plug-and-play solutions to help improve faculty and students improve the audio and visual quality of their learning experiences.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19 and Schools

CDC Revises Social Distancing Guidelines in Schools to 3 Feet

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Friday, March 19, that it is relaxing social distancing requirements for students returning to school for in-person learning. The organization has determined that students wearing masks in a classroom environment can be spaced just 3 feet apart.

OptiClean Dual-Mode Air Scrubber & Negative Air Machine

Indoor Air Quality

California District Installs 1,500 Carrier OptiClean Air Scrubbers

The Manteca Unified School District in Manteca, Calif., has installed 1,500 Carrier OptiClean Dual-Mode Air Scrubber & Negative Air Machines across 30 schools in preparation to fully reopen. The product, which was named one of TIME’s 100 Best Inventions of 2020, will help improve the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) for the more than 27,000 returning MUSD students, faculty, and staff.

Campus Sustainability

Merced College to Invest in Sustainability

California community college Merced College has partnered with Johnson Controls to upgrade the campus infrastructure and target deferred maintenance problems. In an effort to improve sustainability and the student experience on campus, Johnson is set to manage the design, procurement and installation of energy-efficient central plant and lighting retrofits, as well as upgrade campus building automation systems (BAS) and mechanical systems.

COVID-19 and Schools

MSU Partners with UV Angel to Install Air-Cleansing Solutions

Michigan State University has partnered with pathogen control technology vendor UV Angel to install UV Angel Clean Air units around the MSU campus. They have already been added to busy areas like the Olin Health Center and Wonders Hall, and they’re scheduled for installation soon in campus athletic facilities. The goal is to foster cleaner, safer environments for students and faculty as they return to campus during (and after) the coronavirus pandemic.

Hanwha Techwin

Technology

Hanwha Techwin Expands Multi Sensor Camera Offerings

Hanwha Techwin, producer of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, has expanded its line of multi-sensor cameras that include the Wisenet 7 chipset.

Technology

Movo WebMic HD Pro Offers Multiple Solutions for Remote Learners

The Movo WebMic HD Pro launched on Kickstarter on March 1 and reached its target goal of $15,000 by the next day. The product combines an HD web camera, a condenser microphone, and an LED ring light into one device for what a press release calls an “all-in-one” solution for video conferencing needs on any platform.

Bradley Corp. hand sanitizer dispenser and stand

COVID-19 and Schools

Bradley Corp. Releases Stainless Steel Hand Sanitizer Solutions

The Bradley Corp., based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., has released a new series of stainless steel hand sanitizer dispensers and stands for quick, convenient access to hand-cleansing products. Touch-free and resilient, the commercial-grade dispensers can be placed in high-traffic areas like doorways, stairwells, lobbies, cafeterias, and more.

Construction

Sacred Heart University Breaks Ground on Ice Arena

Sacred Heart University, located in Fairfield, Conn., has officially broken ground on the construction of a $70 million ice arena to be located in west campus. The arena continues a multiyear expansion program that aims to foster personal development, student growth, and student engagement, says SHU President John J. Petillo.

University of Louisiana Monroe active learning classroom

Technology

University of Louisiana Monroe Installs Active Learning Classroom

The University of Louisiana Monroe has partnered with Trox, an education technology solutions company, to install a state-of-the-art active learning classroom for its College of Pharmacy. The classroom is the first of its kind in the state, and it provides opportunities for more active participation, interaction, and collaboration among teachers and students.

Campus Renovation

Before Renovations Begin, Iowa Middle School Schedules Asbestos Abatement

The Perry School Board of Perry, Iowa, is still accepting construction bids for its $10 million renovation project of Perry Middle School. Before the renovations can begin, the school is pursuing a month-long asbestos abatement project. School Board President Kyle Baxter attributes the reluctance of contractors to submit bids to the renovation project’s tight turnaround time once that abatement is finished.

Teacher Recognition

Edthena Accepting Nominations for New Award for Teachers

Classroom observation platform Edthena has established a new way to celebrate outstanding teachers: its new Teacher Leader Impact Award. The organization is encouraging district-level administrators to nominate a teacher who is “making a measurable impact on others and creating positive lasting change,” according to a press release.

Cybersecurity

Dartmouth Selects WootCloud HyperContext Security Platform

Ivy League research institution Dartmouth College, located in Hanover, N.H., has selected WootCloud’s HyperContext Security Platform to provide device security and next-generation access control across the entire campus.

Campus 360 Virtual Tours

Campus Facilities

Campus 360 Launches Live Guided Campus Tours Service

A virtual tour provider has launched a new service that enables colleges, universities, boarding schools and high schools to host DIY, live, guided tours from within virtual campus tours. Campus 360 introduced the new functionality to enable its higher education customers to take students and their families on visits around campus in real time, but without the necessity of being there in person.

Sennheiser TeamConnect Ceiling 2 (TCC2) system

Campus Facilities

USF Tackles Classroom HyFlex Learning Work

An effort at the University of South Florida has resulted in nearly a hundred classrooms being readied for simultaneous remote and in-person learning. The updates included installation of touchless sound systems and dual cameras.

Nureva HDL300 audio conferencing system

Campus Facilities

Athens State University Adds Nureva Audio Systems to Classrooms

Athens State University, located in Athens, Ga., recently installed Nureva HDL300 audio conferencing systems in almost 30 classrooms on campus.

University Construction

NC State Enters Phase 4 of Greek Housing Project

North Carolina State University is partnering with KWK Architects and Jenkins-Peer Architects for Phase 4 of its five-phase Greek Village Master Plan. Infrastructure work is in progress for a new apartment building and two new townhouse units.

Student well-being webinar

Webinar

VS America to Discuss How Physical Spaces Impact Student Well-Being

VS America, a full-service manufacturer of school and office furniture, will host a webinar on Friday, March 19, discussing the opportunities and obstacles facing students as they return to school. The conversation will feature four panelists and focus on the impact of physical learning spaces on students’ mental and emotional well-being.

Campus Facilities

School Specialty Announces More Than 100 New Furniture Products

The Wisconsin-based School Specialty, LLC, has released more than 100 new furniture products underneath two new brands, Classroom Select and Childcraft.

COVID-19 and Schools

In Prep for Re-Entry, Boston Schools Invest in Window Repair, Replacements

Throughout the month of March, Boston Public Schools is expanding the number of students it brings back into classrooms for in-person instruction.

COVID-19 and Schools

Classroom Purifier Cuts Infection Risks in Half—Same as Opening Windows

A study in two South Korean high schools found that window ventilation reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection by 55%, while the use of an air purifier shrank the risk by 50%. The combination of the two dropped the risk by nearly three-quarters (73%). Researchers from the Infrastructure Safety department at the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) said the use of the air-purifying device worked best when it was placed in the middle of the room, which was sized to hold about 25 students.

Campus Facilities

Tutt Construction to Upgrade Wyoming High School's Bleachers

At its meeting in early March, the Sheridan County School District 2 in Sheridan, Wyo., awarded a bid for new bleachers to Tutt Construction Inc. of Billings, Mont. The total bid for the project, including delivery and installation of the new bleachers at Sheridan High School, was $147,000.

Renovation

Vermont High School Relocates to Former Macy's

Burlington High School, located in Burlington, Vt., has reopened its doors—on a slightly unconventional new campus. After a whirlwind 10-week renovation process, the downtown Cherry Street building that formerly served as a Macy’s department store is now ready to welcome BHS students and faculty to their new home.

Renovations

Ann Arbor Schools to See $63M in AC, Lighting Upgrades

The Ann Arbor School Board in Ann Arbor, Mich., approved $63 million in funding for air conditioning and lighting renovations at 13 schools in the district, as well as contracts for future architectural and engineering projects.

Wave energy testing facility

Energy

Oregon State University to Move Forward with Wave Energy Project

Federal energy regulators have given Oregon State University permission to move forward with PacWave South, an offshore wave energy testing facility.

COVID-19 and Schools

Universities See Quarantine, Isolation Spaces Begin to Fill

Many universities around the country have designated certain campus residence halls as temporary housing for students in coronavirus-related quarantine or isolation. And some universities are starting to see these spaces fill up quickly.

Mohawk Chromascope design

Flooring

Mohawk Adds Four Designs to LVT Collection

The Mohawk Group has announced the expansion of its Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) line, Living Local, with four new styles.

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