Classroom with agile furniture to accommodate proper social distancing.

Reopening Schools

Rethinking School Spaces and Structures to Maintain Proper Distancing Amid COVID-19

As you rethink the design of educational spaces and structures to keep your communities safe and healthy when schools reopen, here are some possible strategies and issues to consider.

Carrie Busey Elementary School library carpet tile. Credit: Scott Berman

Components & Materials

It’s All in the Details: Walls, Ceilings and Floors

Walls, ceilings and floors, along with all interior and other building elements, must meet budgetary, acoustic, resilience, sustainability and maintenance requirements, with builders weighing such factors and others. Here are some ways that schools are making their interiors stand out.

A woman architect looking at blueprints with her laptop open.

Reopening Schools

What Schools and Colleges Have to Rethink for Fall 2020

The fall of 2020 will be different. Nobody knows for sure what it will look like, but most would agree that it <em>will</em> be different, which raises many questions for those of us involved in the construction and design of academic facilities.

Children in winter coats and hats wearing face masks and walking on sidewalk.

Reopening Schools

Living (and Learning) with COVID-19: Best Practices for Reopening Schools

While the attention so far has been focused mainly on ensuring that all students continue to receive a high-quality learning experience from home, leaders are now shifting their focus to how they can safely and responsibly reopen schools. Here are eight key suggestions for keeping students and staff safe when schools reopen.

Children meditating in a classroom.

Healthy Schools

How to Incorporate Mindfulness in the Classroom

Pre-K and kindergarten students at Centner Academy in Miami begin their school day with a mindfulness practice. Here is how it's helping students cope with changes due to coronavirus and some tips to incorporate mindfulness in the classroom.

A custodial worker using an electrostatic mister to clean an office.

Cleaning and COVID-19

Combating COVID-19 with Electrostatic Misters

This cleaning process provides more thorough coverage, essentially leaving no place for germs and pathogens, including those that cause COVID-19, to hide.

Schools In Focus podcast logo and Dr. Greg Whiteley

Episode 3

Schools In Focus: Expert Advice on COVID-19 Cleaning

In this episode, we talk about the short-term and long-term goals of keeping school facilities clean amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Berkner STEM Exploration Center features flexible and adaptable spaces.


First Look: Berkner STEM Exploration Center

When students return to school at Richardson Independent School District near Dallas, Texas, they will be able to utilize a brand-new state-of-the-art STEM facility that is open to all K-12 students in the district. Designed by Perkins and Will, the Berkner STEM Exploration Center was created for students of all ages.

Caption: Single leaf sliding doors support North Creek High School’s (NCHS) collaborative culture in Bothell, Washington. Credit: © Chris Eden / edenphotography.us

Interior Design

Collaborative Design Through the Lens of Interior Sliding Doors

In Bothell, Washington, Dykeman, Inc. worked with the Northshore School District to create a flexible, innovative learning center for 1,600 students centered on collaboration. They incorporated state-of-the-art interior single leaf sliding doors and hardware into eight "collaboration cubes" to pave the way for project-based and problem-based group learning, without compromising design.

A custodian cart in front of a white wall.

Healthy Schools

Combating Coronavirus: Resources on Cleaning and Sanitizing Schools

<em>Spaces4Learning</em> has several resources on best practices for cleaning and sanitizing schools and maintaining healthy schools during peak flu season, which can be applied to the coronavirus. Here you'll find our top articles and a webinar on the subject to help you combat the spread of coronavirus.

Schools In Focus Podcast logo and Todd Ferking, principal at DLR Group

Episode 2

Schools In Focus Podcast: 2020 Education Design Trends

In this episode, Todd Ferking of DLR Group talks about education design that is geared toward the future.

child distant learning on laptop

K-12 Remote Learning

Moving to K-12 Digital Learning Fast: Where to Start

As coronavirus changes life as we know it, these education experts offer advice on how to make the transition to online instruction.



To Push the Envelope on Sustainability, Push the Envelope

Architects continue to design buildings much the same way they always have; yet, a carbon-free future will require new practices, namely true, front-loaded integrative design.

parking payment stations at exit


Frictionless Parking: Promoting Campus Public Health During This Pandemic

Frictionless parking can promote public health by dramatically reducing the number of common touch-points within a garage or parking lot.

workers on lift cleaning windows

Building Envelopes

From Cradle to Grave: The Cost of a Building

When a system shows signs of failing, what is the most cost-effective course of action an owner should take? Does the owner replace the system or close the facility?

outdoor learning water play space

Learning Potential in the Outdoors

For students of all ages, carefully planned outdoor learning areas and features can become an integral component of education.

custodian cleaning wall

COVID-19 and The Custodial Training Component

Issues impacting the ability and training of cleaning contractors vary in different settings and situations. However, all of them must be overcome, and urgently, if we are going to get on top of the COVID-19 situation.

cleaning hand rails on staircase


Pandemic Response: Protecting Custodial Workers

Custodial workers must modify cleaning practices and behaviors to help reduce COVID-19 risks, not only for a building’s occupants, but especially for themselves.

Pathfinder Kindergarten Center: photo ©Chris Roberts, courtesy of DLR Group

Planning & Design

K-12 Design Trends to Watch in 2020

Just as Winston Churchill once said, “we shape our buildings and thereafter they shape us,” designers must consider how education environments of the next decade will shape student behavior.

Children using tools like a screwdriver to tinker with a robot on a table.


Design Trends Influencing STEM Education

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are crucial parts of today's curriculum. When it comes to maximizing learning outcomes, many schools focus on the equipment and technology available. However, design also has a significant impact.

Despite the name, panic buttons are designed to take the panic out of a situation. As instincts kick in, a trained employee can have direct and easy access to alert or summon people for help quickly and discreetly with the push of a button.

Safety & Security

Taking the Panic Out of Panic Buttons

Despite the name, panic buttons are designed to take the panic out of a situation. As instincts kick in, a trained employee can have direct and easy access to alert or summon people for help quickly and discreetly with the push of a button.

The new culinary lab at Downers Grove South. Each lab contains six large work stations that look like kitchen islands that faces a teacher demonstration station at the head of the class.


High School Culinary Makerspaces Draw Inspiration From TV Food Shows

Community High School District 99, located just outside of Chicago, is harnessing foodie culture to revamp culinary arts facilities at two of their high schools — Downers Grove North and Downers Grove South.

Spaces4Learning recently launched Schools In Focus, a podcast spotlighting K-12 school design, planning and management.

Episode 1

Introducing Schools In Focus Podcast

<em>Spaces4Learning</em> recently launched a podcast focused on K-12 school design, planning and management.

audio visual

Higher Ed Technology

3 Ways AV Can Draw People to Campus

Today’s audiovisual experiences reflect a digital world that strongly appears to tomorrow's higher education students.

school flooring

K-12 High-Traffic Areas

Flooring and the Impact It Has On K-12 Learning Environments

timber building

Residence Halls

Constructing Community

The largest mass timber building in America, Adohi Hall at the University of Arkansas, exemplifies a new generation of wood-framed and light-filled residence halls designed to foster connections.

K-12 building design

K-12 STEM & Makerspaces

Innovative K–12 Design Inspired by Innovative Curriculum

The first of its kind in the state of Arizona, the Dove Mountain CSTEM K–8 School is setting a precedent as a school of choice, defining the future of school design.


Higher Ed Services

Bundling Auxiliary Services

There is opportunity to better deliver on your institution’s mission. A new approach to the organization of service lines involves bundling the outsourcing of auxiliaries work.



Healthy Cleaning

Can more effective cleaning reduce student absenteeism? The evidence seems to say that it can.

At the heart of the school is the two-story media center, designed to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor space.


Reach for the Stars: Designing a STEM Elementary

De Soto ISD’s Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy aims to spark curiosity at an early age through STEM education.

Facial recognition technology is more frequently being utilized in K-12 schools. But how exactly does facial recognition work?

School Safety

Q+A with a Facial Recognition Expert

We spoke to Mike Vance, Senior Director of Product Management at RealNetworks, the company behind SAFR K-12 to get a clearer picture of how their product can boost school safety.



IP Brings the Wow Factor To Educational Esports Programs

The technical requirements you need to know to start a K-12 or higher education esports program.

adaptive reuse

Adaptive Reuse for Education

Thinking Outside The Box: Adaptive Reuse For Education

There are countless opportunities to create new and innovative learning environments within existing buildings.

revitalizing historic facilities

Revitalizing Historic Facilities

Existing campus structures can be adapted to new life and new uses with a creative approach to restoring and modifying them from the ground up.



Campus Parking Trends

New technologies are available that are making campus parking more user-friendly and manageable, which is beneficial to operations and the bottom line.

Audience Systems outfitted the white box theater with custom all-white seating.


Unique Seating Solutions for School Theaters and Gyms

What brings a school community together more than a school theatre production or a home game? In order to accommodate spectators and audience members alike, seating must prioritize comfort and versatility.

Palo Alto High School staff envisioned a library that would feature updated technology, natural light, and a more functional, open layout with clear sightlines and improved circulation patterns.


Palo Alto High School's Library Transformation

Palo Alto High School staff envisioned a library that would feature updated technology, natural light, and a more functional, open layout with clear sightlines and improved circulation patterns.

Regarding school security, it’s important that we see facial recognition as a tool, rather than as a panacea. Technology needs to be thoughtfully incorporated into a larger plan for it be effective.

School Safety

How to Effectively Utilize Facial Recognition for School Security

It’s been one year since St. Therese Catholic Academy in Seattle made the decision to adopt facial recognition technology as one of their security tools — here’s what they've experienced since doing so.

A teacher carrying a tablet smiles while students are working at their desks facing the front of the classroom.

5 Reasons Teachers Leave and How to Prevent It

Here are five common reasons teachers are leaving their jobs and some ways to beat the odds and keep them.

sports and fitness facility

Facilities (Campus Spaces)

What's New in Sport and Fitness Facilities Design?

Student-athlete wellness is just one of a number of drivers of college and university sport and fitness facilities design.