Industry News


New Construction

Seminole County School District Proposes PreK-12 School Facility

Officials in the Seminole County School District, headquartered in Donalsonville, Ga., recently announced a proposal to build a new, all-inclusive, PreK-through-12 school facility. They attribute the need for a new building to the age of current facilities and continuing repairs to buildings damaged by Hurricane Michael, among others.

Cybersecurity

Cyberattack Wrecks Return to School for Mass. District

A cyberattack forced a Massachusetts school district to close for a day, just as kids were about to return to the classroom, and then revert to remote learning for most grades. Haverhill Public Schools made a public announcement when the district computer system was hit with a ransomware attack.

Techport at the Airport

Campus Facilities

Unique Ceiling Hatches Creativity at University Incubator

The University of Maryland is a strategic partner of the Techport @ The Airport, a business incubator designed to encourage transfer of technologies developed by the military into the commercial sector. The Incubator provides opportunities for students to gain real world experience and supports programs of the University’s Division of Research and James Clark School of Engineering.

Campus Energy

Stevens Institute of Tech to Fill All Electricity Needs from Renewable Sources

Stevens Institute of Technology has announced that it intends to fill all of its electricity needs from local renewable energy sources by October 2021.

Campus Facilities

George Mason University Gets Replacement Water Tank

George Mason University, located in Fairfax, Va., recently saw the installation of a new, 2.5-million-gallon water tank.

Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 LTE network

Campus Technology

Private LTE Network Delivers Student Connectivity in Ill. District

An Illinois district has installed a $300,000 private LTE network to deliver internet connectivity to students. Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 worked with IT solutions provider STEPcg to address the needs of about 500 students in the area.

Global School Recovery Tracker Monitors Education Status

COVID-19 and Schools

Data Tracker Keeps Tabs on Education Status Worldwide

A new global education recovery tracker project developed by Johns Hopkins University's eSchool+ Initiative, the World Bank and UNICEF reveals the progress of schools around the world in the fight against COVID-19.

A Rational Approach to Ceiling Product Evaluation

Campus Facilities

A Rational Approach to Ceiling Product Evaluation

Despite widespread perception that architects and designers are fearless innovators, many, in the author’s opinion, are quite resistant to change. When a product works reasonably well, building professionals tend to stick with it until strong evidence justifies a change.

Policy

Many Students Stay Home Despite Availability of In-Person Instruction

K-12 instruction is being delivered in many different permutations right now, and so families are making various choices for the education of their students. By mid-March 2021 more than three-quarters of fourth- and eighth-grade students (76%) were being offered the chance to attend public schools open at least some of the time for face-to-face lessons. But just a fraction of those students attended in-person instruction. The remaining 24% of grade 4 and grade 8 students were in schools that were only online.

Mount Holyoke College Student Dining Commons

Campus Facilities

An Intimate Feeling Includes the Ceiling

A student cafeteria doesn’t have to feel like a student cafeteria. The new Student Dining Commons at Mount Holyoke College – a 1,000-seat, state of the art, anytime dining center created by Boston design firm Bergmeyer – is intended to offer an inviting, personal experience that evokes some of the school’s long tradition of intimate dining rooms. An important element of that effect is an unusual ceiling.



Campus Sustainability

Ameresco, Holy Cross Energy Team Up for Solar Project on Colorado Campus

Clean technology integrator Ameresco, Inc. has announced a partnership with Holy Cross Energy to build a solar and battery energy storage project on land leased from the Spring Valley Campus of Colorado Mountain College, located in Glenwood Springs, Colo.

Funding

BetterLesson Distributes $300,000 in Grants Among K-12 Districts

K-12 professional learning provider BetterLesson announced that it will distribute $300,000 in grant money for professional development services among six K-12 school districts around the country.

New Construction

USU to Construct New Building for Language Programs

The Utah State Legislature recently approved the construction of a new home for Utah State University’s foreign language programs. The $17-million Mehdi Heravi Global Teaching and Learning Center will house all of the university’s language-based programs under one roof.

School bus

Campus Facilities

Iowa School District Moves Forward on Long-Awaited Bus Barn

In the Spirit Lake Community School District in Spirit Lake, Iowa, the school board has awarded a construction bid for a project that Superintendent Dr. David Smith says has been in the pipeline for quite some time—a “bus barn” to house the district’s school buses.

COVID-19 and Schools

INVZBL Offers UV-C Disinfection Products to Schools

UV-C disinfection solutions provider INVZBL has launched a new line of products dedicated to reducing the risk of virus transmission through shared devices in K-12 schools.

New Construction

Wash. School District Awards Bid for New High School

The Moses Lake School Board in Moses Lake, Wash., has awarded a contract for the construction of a new high school, informally referred to as the Real World Academy. At a meeting last week, the board voted 4-1 to give the $48.9-million contract to Absher Construction Co., based out of Puyallup, Wash. The project was originally budgeted for $51 million.

Towson University Science Complex

New Construction

Towson Opens New Science Complex

Towson University has opened its new Science Complex. The building is a 320,000-square-foot facility—the largest academic structure on the Maryland university's campus. It features 50 classrooms, 30 research laboratories, 10 collaborative student spaces, eight lecture halls, an outdoor classroom leading to the Glen Arboretum, a rooftop greenhouse complex, a new planetarium and an observatory.

Campus Renovations

Texas High School Completes Campus Expansion Project

Lake Highlands High School, located in Richardson, Texas, announced this week that it has completed a campus expansion and renovation project. The work was done by Cadence McShane Construction and includes updates to multiple school facilities.

New Construction

Ohio District Breaks Ground on New Elementary School

This weekend, school leadership in Finneytown, Ohio, broke ground on a new elementary school slated to open in spring 2022. The facility will measure in at 90,000 square feet, and its $22 million price tag will be split between the Ohio Construction Commission and the Finneytown Local School District.

Campus Renovations

University of New Mexico to Convert Sorority House to ROTC Center

The University of New Mexico, located in Albuquerque, N.M., has announced plans to renovate a former sorority house into a center for the campus ROTC program.

Campus Expansion

WMU Aviation Center Expansion Nears Completion

Upgrades to the College of Aviation at Western Michigan University’s campus in Battle Creek, Mich., are almost complete. The $20-million renovation project includes new classrooms, labs, a simulator bay, and a research center, and it takes the education aviation center from about 16,000 square feet to more than 60,000 square feet.

Pittsburg USD Electric School Bus

Sustainability

N. California District Cuts Electric Fleet Charging in Half

A school district in Northern California will be adding new infrastructure to bring down the cost of recharging its electric school bus fleet. Palermo Union Elementary School District has signed with AMPLY Power, which will supply energy management intended to reduce the cost to a dime per kilowatt hour versus 19 to 39 cents/kWh under the previous charging program.

Campus Renovations

WIU to Open Digital Rec Center This Fall

Western Illinois University, located in Macomb, Ill., is set to debut its Digital Rec Center (DiRC) in fall 2021. The center will play home to the university’s eSports team and offer students a space for competitive gaming, console gaming, a virtual reality station, and more.

Campus Facilities

Concrete Slab Falls from UW-Madison Campus Building

A large concrete slab, part of the façade of Van Hise Hall on the campus of UW-Madison in Madison, Wis., fell three stories and crashed near the building’s entrance on Sunday. No injuries were reported.

Campus Technology

ContentKeeper Launches K-12 Educational Cloud Filter

Web security platform ContentKeeper announced this week that it’s launching a generation cloud filtering and security platform designed specifically for use in K-12 educational environments. The ContentKeeper Cloud helps teachers and administrators maintain the balance between letting students explore the Internet to access potentially valuable content and basic student security and safety.

Ball State University Esports Center

Campus Facilities

Ball State University Debuts Esports Center

Ball State University, located in Muncie, Ind., held a virtual ribbon cutting for its new Esports Center this week. The 3,600-square-foot facility will serve as the home of the College of Communication, Information, and Media’s new Esports program.

Maine-Endwell School District Solar Energy

Campus Sustainability

NY District Covering All Electricity Needs with Solar

A New York school district is now generating all of its electricity needs through a 4.1-megawatt solar project. Maine-Endwell Central School District in Endwell activated its system, located on district property next to an elementary school, on March 23. It's expected to save the district more than $6.2 million in future energy costs over the course of 25 years.

Campus Technology

Purdue University Develops Online Course on Disaster Recovery

Purdue Online has recently launched a Disaster Recovery Certificate course for construction professionals. The course was developed as a means to educate workers in the construction industry on the nuances between disaster recovery work and normal construction practices.

Meredith College construction

Campus Construction

N.C. College Resumes Construction on New Academic Building

North Carolina's Meredith College will soon resume work on a new facility to house the institution's communication and exercise and sports science programs. Construction plans had been paused in 2020 when the pandemic struck. The building will be located on the northwestern side of the school's 225-acre campus.

iCleanse Swift UV mobile phone sanitizer

Campus Facilities

iCleanse Launches Mobile Phone Disinfection Device

Device sanitation solutions company iCleanse recently launched its newest product, the iCleanse Swift UV. The Swift UV serves as a chemical-free UV-C disinfection station for mobile phones and was created for a wide variety of markets including airports, retail stores, restaurants, doctors’ offices, corporate offices, higher education environments, and more.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.