Industry News


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.



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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

HVAC

Georgia Schools Add Ionization Devices to HVAC Systems

The Bibb County School District in Macon, Ga., announced in a press release that it will be adding needlepoint bi-polar ionization devices to the HVAC systems in each of its schools.

Construction

Illinois High School Approves $75M Gym Upgrade

The school board of the New Trier High School Winnetka campus, located in Winnetka, Ill., has unanimously approved plans to construct a new gymnasium. The $75 million project involves demolishing the existing gym, which was built in 1928, and replacing it with a new, state-of-the-art facility better suited for the school’s current size and athletics programs.

Winter storm

Winter Storm

Austin ISD Surveys Damage After Winter Storm

Austin Independent School District (AISD) officials in Austin, Texas, spent last week walking through schools and surveying the aftermath of the recent wave of winter storms. The verdict: Ninety of the district’s 130 schools were affected, and the total damage is estimated at about $15 million.

Renovation

Michigan Regional Theater to Renovate Historic School Building

The Encore Theatre Company, a nonprofit theater group in Dexter, Mich., is raising money to renovate its new performance space—a historic school building downtown.

Smart locker

Campus Facilities

Quadient Nearly Doubles Number of Smart Locker Installations in U.S. During 2020

Quadient has become the second-largest provider of parcel locker solutions worldwide after it reached 13,000 installation sites and more than 600,000 lockers overall during FY2020. During the first nine months of the fiscal year, which ended on Jan. 31, 2021, the company reported a 78% increase in the number of packages delivered to its smart lockers.

Professor Randall Ellingson receives grant from U.S. Air Force

Solar Energy

U Toledo Developing Solar Sheets to Generate Power in Space

The University of Toledo just received a five-year, $12.5 million grant from the U.S. Air Force to develop flexible solar cell sheets for space. The photovoltaic energy sheets will be used to collect solar energy for powering Earth-based receivers or other orbital or aerial instrumentation, such as communications satellites.

Renovations

Oakwood Schools to Receive New HVAC System

One of the only remaining components of the $18 million Oakwood City Schools renovation project in Dayton, Ohio, is the installation of a brand-new HVAC system for the high school/junior high building. Currently, about half of the 97-year-old building is running on a new system, and the other half still uses an outdated, steam-heated network, according to school district Operations Coordinator Todd Scott.

School bus

Transportation

California School District to Install Charging Stations

The Porterville Unified School District (PUSD), located in Tulare County, California, recently placed an order for six new electric school buses. During its Board of Education meeting on Jan. 28, the district also approved plans to install six new electric charging stations.

COVID-19 and Schools

LumAware ClearGuard Desk Guard Shields Students in the Classroom

One of the primary concerns in reopening schools is being able to ensure proper social distancing between students.Guidance from the CDC suggests setting up physical barriers like partitions and sneeze guards in areas where spacing people out remains impractical. Building off of that idea, LumAware recently released a series of desk guards customized for use in the classroom.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity

Audits Reveal Cybersecurity Weaknesses in New York School Districts

The Office of the New York State Comptroller has completed audits on three school districts in the state. The audits uncovered that the districts have neglected to follow some crucial cybersecurity policies, leaving them potentially vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Nursing students

University Construction

Florida Higher Ed Institutions to Expand Nursing Education Opportunities

Daytona State College’s Palm Coast campus is set to begin a $4.2-million renovation project that will allow it to expand its nursing program. The college has partnered with DLR Group and Charles Perry Partners, Inc., on the construction that will create teaching facilities to fit an additional 90 nursing students.

Faulkner College of Health Sciences

Renovations

Faulkner U Begins Renovations of New College of Health Sciences

Faulkner University in Alabama is creating a new College of Health Sciences out of a former Burlington Coat Factory building. The work began last summer, after university President Mike Williams announced the planned conversion of a 13-acre shopping center and the empty Burlington building into a facility that would house all of Faulkner’s health science programs.

Flooring

Mohawk Group Set to Achieve WELL Health-Safety Rating

Mohawk Group, a producer and distributor of commercial flooring, announced in a press release that all of its design studios and commercial showrooms are set to receive a WELL Health-Safety Rating, as determined by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). Mohawk is among the first flooring manufacturers to meet this standard.

Energy

NY School District, Ameresco Partner for Energy Efficiency Renovations

Ameresco, Inc. (a clean technology integrator focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency) announced that it was chosen from a competitive process to provide its services to Nyack Public Schools in Orangetown, New York. The contract lays out an energy savings agreement over 18 years, including photovoltaic solar and guaranteed savings to the district across the full duration.

Touchless water fountain

Campus Facilities

Schools Give Water Fountains the Touchless Treatment

Alongside investments in personal protective equipment, sanitation stations and distancing shields, some schools are earmarking a portion of their federal CARES Act funding to replace their water fountains with touchless versions that don't need continual cleaning.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville Solar Array

Energy

UW-Platteville to Build 2.4MW Solar Array

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has received approval from the state to erect a 2.4-megawatt solar array on its campus. According to the university, this will be the largest solar array owned by a Wisconsin state agency and will make the campus the sixth-highest on-site producer of renewable energy in the country among institutions of higher education.

Digital rendering of school

COVID-19 and Schools

Matterport Virtual Tours Help Schools Plan Reopening Procedures

Matterport virtual tours offer the means to help schools set up a reopening plan and relay that information effectively. The technology lets schools create a virtual, 3D rendering of the entire campus. With this digital model in place, officials can get a fuller view of how students use the space, the changes that need to be made, and where to implement them.

KWK Construction Project

Renovation

Washington U School of Medicine Undertakes Printing Warehouse Repurpose

A project to reconsider how space was used for medical education that began six years ago is progressing at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. KWK Architects has repurposed a 7.8-acre industrial site and warehouse off-campus into new office space for the school.

Open-air classrooms

COVID-19 and Schools

Schools Consider Return to Open-Air Classrooms

Solutions to modern problems sometimes find their roots in the past. During the tuberculosis epidemic in the early 20th century, many U.S. schools used open-air classroom designs to prevent the virus’ spread among students. Now, during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, schools are once again turning to this model to allow students the fresh air and proper ventilation necessary for a healthy learning environment.