Industry News


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.

Transportation

School Bus Miles Dropped by 40% in 2020

Remote learning has had a dramatic impact on the number of miles school buses drove in the past year. According to Synovia Solutions, school buses reduced their miles by 40% in 2020, a total of two billion fewer school bus miles during the year.

COVID-19 and Schools

CDC's Ultraviolet Light Disinfectant Guidelines Can Help Schools Reopen

One of the nation’s top priorities is to be able to safely reopen schools for in-person learning. The CDC has recently recommended ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as a means for disinfecting shared spaces, especially those where ventilation is limited. UVC (ultraviolet-C) light has been proven to help deactivate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

New Mexico State University solar project construction

University Construction

New Mexico State University Solar Project Begins Construction

Construction of a new solar project at New Mexico State University began this week. The university has partnered with El Paso Electric (EPE) on the initiative that they call Aggie Power, which should be sufficient to power about one-third of the 900-acre NMSU campus in Las Cruces.

Warming centers

Winter Storm

Universities Offer Warming Stations to Those Without Power

A series of winter storms blew through the U.S., bringing record-breaking low temperatures and leaving millions without electricity. In response, many universities are setting up warming stations to give both students and the community at large a place to take refuge against the cold.



University of Virginia

COVID-19 and Schools

University of Virginia Combats COVID-19 Outbreak

The University of Virginia reported 121 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, Feb. 15, and 229 new cases on Tuesday, Feb. 16. The university has announced a new set of health and safety regulations that are set to last through at least Friday, Feb. 26.

Weather

Winter Storm Forces Texas School Closures

The winter storm that blew through Texas this weekend brought up to six inches of snow and below-zero wind chills, and it has left hundreds of thousands without electricity. Accordingly, many school districts around the state have announced campus closures for Tuesday, Feb. 16, and beyond.

Virtual Learning

Despite Virtual Learning, P.E. Class is Still in Session

Gym teachers at U.S. schools nationwide are adapting their curricula to help remote learners stay active.

New School Construction

Charter School Set for Construction on Florida College Campus

The construction of Pinecrest Lakes Academy Middle/High School, a Florida charter school, is set to begin this year on the campus of Lake-Sumter State College in Clermont, Florida. The school is scheduled to open its doors to students in August 2022.

Health Policy

CDC Releases Updated Guidance Plan for Reopening Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an updated guide on how K-12 schools around the country can take steps to safely reopen—for good.

U Richmond Offsets 100% of Electricity with Solar

Research Projects

Morehead Takes Delivery of Second Space Antenna

Morehead State University in Kentucky has taken delivery of a second space antenna. The 12-meter tracking antenna was delivered to the university by NASA Deep Space Network operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. There, it will serve as satellite tracking station for low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellite mission support and as a training facility for students studying in the space systems engineering, astrophysics and astronomy programs.

Purdue Concrete Sensors Could Speed Construction Onsite

Construction Technology

Purdue Concrete Sensors Could Speed Construction Onsite

Engineering researchers at Purdue University have come up with sensors that can determine concrete strength onsite in real-time, and they're testing it right on campus. The hope is that the technology will help builders speed up their construction timelines safely.

Campus Transportation

Harvard Buys Electric Shuttles

Harvard University has invested in four electric buses, representing nearly a third of its fleet. The vehicles will replace four similarly-sized bio-diesel vehicles already operating on campus. Each of the new buses, from Proterra, is 35 feet long (similar in size to the current buses), has a seating capacity of 29 and runs on a 450-kWh battery.

U Kentucky College of Design Shares Plans for Tobacco Warehouse Renovation

Renovation

U Kentucky College of Design Shares Plans for Tobacco Warehouse Renovation

The University of Kentucky has revealed the plans for its new College of Design (CoD). The institution intends to renovate a century-old tobacco warehouse and turn it into a "vibrant and interactive learning space for design students." The design was done by Studio Gang, in collaboration with Louisville-based architect-of-record K. Norman Berry Associates (KNBA).

U Richmond Offsets 100% of Electricity with Solar

Energy

U Richmond Offsets 100% of Electricity with Solar

A Virginia institution is the latest school to cover all of its electricity needs with a more sustainable source. The University of Richmond (UR) has joined campuses in Colorado, Hawaii and Minnesota to match 100 percent of its electricity usage with solar power.

Funding

Texas School District Bond Refi to Save $16 Million

A Texas school district has refinanced its outstanding bonds, a move that it expects will save nearly $16 million.

New School Construction

Yosemite School Finally Discarding Portables for New Construction

A high school next door to Yosemite National Park will be replacing seven portables that have been in use for "decades" with a new 6,000-square-foot, five-classroom building.

Returning to In-Person Instruction

Department of Ed to Survey on Status of School Reopenings

The U.S. Department of Education will be running a survey to understand the status of in-person learning at the nation's schools. The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) will oversee the project, dubbed the "NAEP 2021 School Survey." Currently, the agency noted, there isn't enough data to understand the status of school re-opening or how students are learning. The survey is intended to fill that gap.

School Construction

CA High School STEM Building Topped Off

A California district has "topped off" its new multi-story, $67 million, 83,000-square-foot STEM school. The Los Alamitos Unified School District has laid the last piece of structural framing at the highest point of the building. The steel beam that was placed included handwritten messages, an American flag and an evergreen tree.

Virginia Commonwealth Shows Off New Engineering Research Building — Virtually

Construction Projects

Virginia Commonwealth Shows Off New Engineering Research Building — Virtually

According to the university, the 133,000-square-foot building is intended to support advanced research and economic development initiatives with a design that emphasizes makerspaces, collaborative research facilities and flexible gathering areas.

Oregon State to Add Arts and Education Complex

New Campus Construction

Oregon State to Add Arts and Education Complex

Oregon State University in Corvallis will be getting a new Arts and Education facility. The university's board of trustees recently approved construction of the $70 million complex, which will host performing arts classes, programs and performances on the campus in a 500-seat concert hall.

San Antonio College Uses Bond for New Campus Construction

Construction Funding

San Antonio College Uses Bond for New Campus Construction

San Antonio College is funding construction of a new $13 million science building from a $83 million bond approved by county voters in 2017.

Pool-Based Saliva Testing Program Coming to K–12

COVID Testing

Pool-Based Saliva Testing Program Coming to K–12

A company that does develops COVID-19 testing management programs for colleges and universities is bringing its services to K-12 schools. CoVerified is working with Mirimus Clinical Labs, which performs saliva pool testing, to launch CoVerifiedPool, a mechanism for testing student populations regularly and affordably.

COVID-19 and Schools

Colorado District Adopts Tech to Reduce Viruses in the Air

A school district near Denver, CO where students have returned to in-person instruction has deployed a technology in its classrooms and common areas with the aim of killing viruses in the air and on surfaces. The deployment was funded by a Safe Schools Reopening Grant, a one-time, $15 million program offered through the Colorado Department of Education in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

How Universities Are Doing Laundry for Students With Coronavirus

A company that provides "contactless" on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning services has announced a surge of business from colleges and universities, to address the needs of students who are in quarantine or isolation while living on campus.

Universities Get $7.36M Navy Grant to Study Energy Generation and Storage for Microgrids

Two universities are working together to figure out how to make energy generation, storage and system operation more efficient and reliable, especially in "microgrid" settings.

Scottish College System Adopts Virtual Desktop for Construction Students

A five-campus college in Scotland has distributed a new virtual desktop for its construction students to allow them to work on industry-grade software from home.

Construction

Nebraska HS Begins Renovations for Industrial Arts Technology Center

The 14,000-square-foot renovation includes a construction science lab, manufacturing lab, automotive lab, art room, and computer science and robotics lab.

Construction

Affordable Housing for Bay Area School Employees Coming in 2022

A $77 million project currently underway will provide affordable housing options for school employees who work for the Alameda school district.

Healthy Schools

Pathogen Reduction Technology Now Available for Schools

MeTEOR Education, a company that offers turn-key services for space design, announced it is making medical and industrial-grade Continuous Air & Surface Pathogen Reduction (CASPR) technology available for schools. The technology has been used in hospitals and medical centers for some time but it is now available to schools.

Makerspace

All-Girls High School Expands Makerspace to More Than Four Times Original Size

Saint Joseph Academy expanded its Makerspace innovation lab to 4,800 square feet, more than four times the size of the former makerspace.

Renderings of the Robert W. Plaster Center for Advanced Manufacturing. Source: Ozarks Technical Community College

New Construction

Southwest Missouri CC Breaks Ground on Advanced Manufacturing Center

A community college in southwest Missouri has just broken ground on a new facility to house advanced manufacturing education programs.

Energy

Wesleyan Pipe Conversion Project Anticipates Dramatic Energy Reduction

A $5.8 million sustainability project to convert steam plumbing to hot water plumbing recently completed the first of eight phases at Wesleyan University.

Research

UK Universities to Address Waste in Construction Industry

University researchers will be studying how to reduce waste in the construction industry, thanks to a grant from United Kingdom Research and Innovation, a public body that supports research and knowledge exchange in higher education.

Energy

Georgetown U Buys Into Local Solar

Georgetown University has taken the next step in its commitment to sustainability by committing to obtaining two-thirds of its total electricity consumption directly from "local" solar farms in Maryland and New Jersey.