Industry News


New Construction

California Private High School Completes New Community Performing Arts Center

Sonoma Academy—a private, co-ed college preparatory school in Santa Rosa, Calif.—recently announced that construction is complete on a new, 350-seat Community Performing Arts Center, according to a news release. The facility will play home to the school’s music, theater, and film productions and host various types of programming for the community at large.

Architecture

Ashley McGraw Architects Announces Acquisition of studioMLA Architects

Ashley McGraw Architects, based in Syracuse, N.Y., recently announced that it has acquired the 15-person architecture and landscape design firm studioMLA Architects, based in Brookline, Mass. The acquired firm will be rebranded as the Early Childhood Education Studio, and studioMLA founder Mike Lindstrom will become Ashley McGraw’s seventh partner, according to a news release.

New Construction

Texas A&M University at Galveston Breaks Ground on New STEM Facility

Texas A&M University at Galveston in Galveston, Texas, recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of a new Engineering Classroom and Research Building. The university is partnering with Turner Construction Company for the project’s construction, which has an estimated completion date of fall 2025.

New Construction

Arkansas Tech University Starts Construction on New Student Union

Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Ark., recently began construction on a new student union facility, according to a news release. Ferguson Student Union will measure in at 68,000 square feet and marks one of the largest construction projects in the university’s history.

New Construction

Harvard University Breaks Ground on New Performance Center

Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., recently broke ground on a new performance center that will play home to the American Repertory Theater, according to a news release. The university is partnering with architect and design lead Haworth Tompkins, architect of record ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge, and construction manager Shawmut Design and Construction for the David E. and Stacy L. Goel Center for Creativity & Performance.

New Construction

New Jersey K–12 District, PureTek Partner to Create Three New Education Spaces

Audiovisual solutions company PureTek Group recently partnered with Plainfield Public Schools in Plainfield, N.J., to create three new educational spaces for the district, according to a news release. The project involves upgrading the existing Plainfield High School auditorium into a performing arts center, a mini-theater into a blackbox theater, and two adjacent unused classrooms into an Esports Arena.

Campus Technology

Boxlight Launches Unified Solution for Campus Communication, Instruction, and Safety

Ed-tech solutions company Boxlight recently announced the debut of FrontRow UNITY and FrontRow UNITY Campus at ISTELive 2024 in Denver, Colo., according to a news release. The product unifies solutions for institutional technology, campus communication, classroom audio, and emergency notification and response into a single device.

New Construction

DIGroup Architecture Completes First NYC-Area School

DIGroup Architecture recently announced the completion of its first education project in New York City, according to a news release. P.S. 748, The Albee Square Campus, will take up six floors of a new 34-story office tower in Brooklyn, N.Y., and is part of a larger city plan to add the capacity for 45,000 new students as part of the New York City School Construction Authority’s 2020–24 Capital Plan.

New Construction

Florida Retirement Community to Expand K–8, High Schools

The Villages in Central Florida, one of the largest retirement communities in the nation, recently announced the expansion of The Villages Charter School to include new facilities for its high school, K–8 school, and Early Learning Center, according to a news release. The schools serve children of residents who work at various businesses within the community.

Campus Design

Designing for Learning Thrill

We all experience boredom at times. Not everything can be thrilling and engaging. However, this should not be the prevalent case for student learning in several classrooms. Over the past several years, data collected on student learning experiences often paint a dismal picture. Students are disengaged and bored. What can school leaders and architects do to combat this crisis in schools?



Campus Renovations

Philadelphia Elementary School Completes $22M Renovation Project

Edwin Forrest Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pa., recently celebrated the completion of a $22-million renovation project, according to a news release. The School District of Philadelphia partnered with DIGroup Architecture (DIG) for the project’s design. Work on the almost century-old campus included significant interior renovations, repairs to the exterior building envelope, and restoration.

Campus Housing

Campus Housing Consultants Launch Strategic Planning Service

Scion Advisory Services recently launched its new Strategic Housing Planning Service, a cost-effective and collaborative process that provides colleges and universities with a method to align its student-housing offerings with its institutional mission, according to a news release. The service takes into account the needs, hurdles, and possibilities across a full campus housing system, as opposed to the single residential facility that tends to be the focus of many feasibility or demand studies.

New Construction

George Mason University Breaks Ground on New Recreation Center

George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., recently announced the groundbreaking of the new Activities Community Wellness Building for its campus. The facility will measure in at 25,000 square feet and is scheduled to open in spring 2025. It will play home to student programs, events, and the school’s pep band, according to a news release.

New Construction

Florida Net-Zero High School Completes $29M Expansion Project

NeoCity Academy in Kissimmee, Fla., recently completed a 53,000-square-foot, three-story addition to its campus, according to a news release. The school partnered with construction firm Skanska on the project, which includes 26 new classrooms with collaborative learning spaces and labs.

Campus Amenities

Sloan Launches Company’s First Line of Bottle Fillers, Water Coolers

Commercial plumbing systems manufacturer Sloan recently announced the launch of Sloan DropSpot, the company’s first line of bottle fillers and water coolers, according to a news release. The fillers come in a stainless steel or black powder-coated finish for placement in commercial or educational environments and also include an easy-access filter for maintenance purposes.

Campus Technology

University of Notre Dame Starts Work on New EV Charging Network

The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., recently announced that it is working with intelligent power management company Eaton to install a new electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure for its campus, according to a news release. The project is part of the university’s larger goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Campus Technology

Texas Christian University Rolls Out New Video Platform, Zoom Connector

Texas Christian University is implementing a new video management platform to support media creation, hosting, storage, and distribution solution campuswide.

Facilities Management

Purdue On-Campus Housing Operator Recognized for Exceptional Service

Student housing services provider Corvias Property Management has received a SatisFacts "Community Award for 2023" for delivering exceptional service at Purdue University.

Optoma interactive displays

Campus Technology

Optoma Intros Three New Interactive Displays

For educators and administrators balancing classes and meetings from multiple locations, Optoma has unveiled three new interactive displays with whiteboarding and Google-powered collaboration capabilities.

Virtual Spaces

UMGC Adopts Virtual Community Platform for Students

The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), an offshoot of the University System of Maryland that focuses on hybrid and virtual courses for adult and military students, has committed to a university-wide rollout of InScribe's virtual community platform.

Schools In Focus: Talking Campus Security with Mitch McKinley

Podcast

Schools In Focus: PCM and Energy Savings in Schools

This episode’s guest is Michael Dunn, Technical Sales Manager for Energy Saving Ceilings & PCM at Armstrong World Industries. He’s here to talk about how Phase Change Material (PCM) can help provide energy savings in schools.

New Construction

Kansas State University Completes New Office Park Building

Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., recently announced that construction is complete on the third phase of a new university office park, according to a news release. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new 80,000-square-foot, four-story innovation and collaboration hub makes the end of the third phase of the Edge Collaboration District’s development.

Athletics

University of North Alabama to Revamp Athletics Facilities with New Stadium, Baseball Field

The University of North Alabama has broken ground on a new athletics construction project that will build the first dedicated stadium for its community of Florence, Ala.

Campus Funding

OSU Receives $156.5M in State Funding for STEM Education, Workforce Readiness Programs

Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., recently received a state budget allocation of $156.5 million to go toward the university’s STEM, OSU Polytech, and engineering programs, according to a news release. The record amount includes $80 million, which the university plans to match through private donations, for a new 220,000-square-foot life and physical science building.

Awards

Harvard Technology Team Wins Eduventures Innovation Award

The Emerging Technology Solutions Team from the Harvard Division of Continuing Education (DCE) recently received a 2024 Eduventures Innovation Award at the annual Summit in Chicago, Ill., according to a news release. DCE designed, developed, and implemented the HELIX Portable Blended Classroom.

Campus Renovations

Essex High School Completes Four-Year Renovation Project

Brentwood County High School in Brentwood, Essex, United Kingdom, recently completed a four-year project to approve student accessibility and retention, according to a news release. Additions to the school include two new specialist teaching blocks, a renovated sports hall, new landscaping, and a multi-use play area.

Awards

Spaces4Learning Announces 2024 Education Design Showcase Winners

Spaces4Learning is proud to announce the winners of the 2024 Education Design Showcase! Now in its 25th year, the S4L Education Design Showcase honors innovative solutions in planning, design, architecture, and construction across K–12 and higher education. The program’s goal is to share ideas and best practices to help schools of all grade levels achieve outstanding learning environments.

Outdoor Spaces

Reconnecting with Nature: Exploring the Benefits of Outdoor Learning Environments

The concept of reconnecting with nature in schools is gaining momentum as we begin to understand the greater benefits these spaces provide within the educational framework, such as learning in multiple dimensions; academic learning; social interaction; personal development and well-being; mental, physical, and social health; creativity; and much more.

New Construction

University of Kentucky Breaks Ground on Agricultural Research Facility

The University of Kentucky recently celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new, $285-million Agricultural Research Building on its campus in Lexington, Ky., according to a university news release.

New Construction

Sea Turtle Hospital at University of Florida Under Construction

The University of Florida’s Whitney Research Laboratory for Marine Bioscience recently began construction on a new Sea Turtle Hospital for its campus in St. Augustine, Fla., according to a news release.

Student Services

San Diego Unified Schools Transform into Meal and Nutrition Hubs for Summer

Schools in the San Diego Unified School District will join local YMCAs, military sites, public libraries, parks & recreation centers, and other neighborhood organizations as meal distribution centers this summer, providing access to healthy food for children and teens in need.

Hudson County Community College Center for Student Success

New Construction

Hudson County Community College to Consolidate Student Services in New Campus Building

New Jersey's Hudson County Community College is breaking ground on a new 11-story Center for Student Success that will bring the institution's student services together into one centralized location.

New Construction

NRC to Issue Permit for Molten Salt Reactor at Abilene Christian University

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently announced its intention to complete a safety assessment and construction permit issuance by Sept. 30 for a Molten Salt Research Reactor (MSRR) funded by Natura Resources on the campus of Abilene Christian University, according to a news release. The MSSR is the first liquid-fueled molten salt reactor design that the NRC has ever reviewed, and an environmental assessment was completed in March.

New Construction

Fayetteville State University Starts Construction on New Residence Hall

Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, N.C., recently announced that construction has begun on a new $40-million residence hall, according to a news release. The building will have the capacity for 383 students and is scheduled for completion in fall 2025. The university partnered with KWK / Jenkins • Peer Architects for the project’s design.

Campus Architecture

Revolutionizing Community College Success

Community colleges play a crucial role in promoting educational equity and opportunity. However, they face numerous challenges that hinder student success, such as declining enrollment, low transfer rates, and disproportionately impacting marginalized communities. Addressing these issues requires innovative solutions, and architects can provide novel design approaches to help tackle these pressing challenges.

Campus Renovations

Wisconsin District Completes $21M Renovation to Middle and High School

Integrated construction management firm Kraus-Anderson recently announced the completion of a $21-million renovation project to the middle and high school in Ladysmith, Wis., according to a news release.

New Construction

California Community College Completes New STEM Building

Mt. San Jacinto Community College, Menifee Campus in Menifee, Calif., recently announced the completion of a new, $38-million STEM building, according to a news release. The college partnered with C.W. Driver Companies for the project’s construction, which broke ground in May 2022.

Campus Amenities

Classroom Seating Pod Named as Certified Autism Resource

The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) recently granted accreditation to the Kolo Pod, a product from commercial furnishings manufacturer Kimball International, as a Certified Autism Resource (CAR), according to a news release. IBCCES’s evaluation determined that the pods can help improve communication and positive outcomes for students with autism or other sensory sensitivities.

Campus Renovations

Wesleyan University to Convert Vacant Factory Space into Arts Lab

Wesleyan University recently announced the start of construction on a new Integrative Arts Lab for its campus in Middletown, Conn., according to a news release. The university is partnering with Bruner/Cott Architects on the transformation of a vacant factory building into an 18,700-square-foot space that will serve as the “nexus of the arts” on campus.

Facilities

Utica University Partners with ABM for Facilities Management

Utica University in Utica, N.Y., recently announced a ten-year partnership with facilities services, infrastructure solutions, and parking management solutions provider ABM, according to a news release. The ABM Performance Solutions model offers a unified approach to the higher-education campus’ wide variety of required facilities services.