Industry News


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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

Clean Air

CSU Study Reveals Potential Health Consequences of Air Purifiers

During the COVID-19 pandemic, air purifiers are growing in popularity as a method of cleansing interior spaces of the airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, a new study from Colorado State University has revealed some of the unintended consequences of some of these devices.

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.

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.

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.

Sustainability

Arkansas School Converts Utilities Savings to Teacher Raises

The Batesville School District in Batesville, Ark., isn’t the first school district to save money on utilities by switching to solar power. It may, however, be the among the first to pass those savings directly to teachers.

School Construction

High-School Consolidation Could Force Teacher Furloughs

Construction on the new Wilkes-Barre Area High School in Plains Township, Pa., is nearing completion. The district plans to merge its three high schools into the new building upon its opening, which could force as many as 37 teachers to be furloughed.

Radnor High School Accessibility Upgrades

Campus Renovations

PA High School to Undertake 24M in Accessibility Upgrades to Sports Fields

After four years of discussions and stakeholder input, a high school in Pennsylvania is undertaking a $24.4 million project to improve its accessibility. Radnor High School, part of Radnor Township School District, recently received board approval to begin its "accessibility and wellness infrastructure project." The money will come from a capital reserve fund.

Colorado State University Lory Student Center

Energy

Colorado State Student Project Adds 114-Megawatt Solar Array

A student-driven initiative at Colorado State University has added almost 114 megawatt hours of clean electricity to the Fort Collins-based university's annual solar generation. The purchase of an 80-kilowatt, $100,000 photovoltaic solar array was funded almost entirely by student fees allocated through the Associated Students of Colorado State University (ASCSU), beginning in 2019.

Modernization Project

Florida High School Begins $48.5M Renovation Project

Clearwater High School, part the of Pinellas County School System in Clearwater, Fla., has officially begun a $48.5 million modernization project. The school was originally built in the 1950s, and the project will involve demolishing 17 buildings around campus, constructing seven new ones, and renovating five more.

NJ County Prep High School Recording Equipment

School Facilities

NJ High School Adds New Recording Studio to Learning Spaces

A career and technical high school in New Jersey has added new professional recording gear to one of its teaching spaces. County Prep High School, part of Hudson County Schools of Technology, added hardware from Solid State Logic (SSL), a UK-based company that manufactures analog and digital audio consoles for music and audio production. Students in the music and audio technology program learn how to write their own songs and produce their own music.

NuCloud interactive campus maps and virtual tours

Campus Technology

Modern Campus Adding Interactive Map, Virtual Tour Capabilities to Content System

A higher education technology company with a content management system has bought another company that produces online campus maps. Modern Campus, which produces Omni CMS, has acquired nuCloud, which develops customizable, interactive campus maps and virtual tours.

Solar Energy

San Jacinto College Goes Solar

San Jacinto College, located in the metroplex area of Houston, Texas, has announced plans to add solar electricity arrays to two of its buildings. The arrays, designed and installed by Sunfinity Renewable Energy, are set to lower the school’s utility costs by millions and contribute to better air quality in the area.

University of Minnesota boathouse

Campus Renovations

Specialty Contractors Waterproof University Boathouse Practice Tank

Two Minneapolis contracting firms recently partnered to make some long-needed repairs to the University of Minnesota’s on-campus boathouse.

Washington University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry

Campus Renovations

KWK Architects Completes Renovations at Wash U School of Medicine

KWK Architects recently completed a design and renovation project for the Washington University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry at Renard Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. The 1950s-era hospital’s second, third, and fourth floors were renovated to centralize the department and provide office and teaching space.

School Opening

New Oregon Technical College Set to Open in April

Baker Technical Institute, a technical college whose main campus is in Baker City, Ore., announced this week that it’s opening a second location in Prineville, Ore., about 200 miles west. The institute will open next month to provide career and technical training to Central Oregon residents to meet the needs of skilled labor in the area.

Lyford Cay International School Gateway Building

Construction

Bahamas IB School Opens New Academic Building

The Lyford Cay International Baccalaureate School, located in Nassau, The Bahamas, has opened its newest academic building to students. Designed by Cooper Robertson, the 35,000-square-foot Gateway Building will house 350 students from sixth through twelfth grade. The facility is also the first completed step—and the intended centerpiece—of a new 17-acre Upper School campus currently under development.

Marshall Electronics and MXL Microphone products

Campus Technology

Marshall Electronics, MXL Microphones Offer Remote Learning Tech

Marshall Electronics and MXL Microphones have recently reintroduced a line of user-friendly cameras and microphones for use in remote learning. Products like the Marshall CV503-U3 camera and the MXL AC-44 microphone offer relatively simple plug-and-play solutions to help improve faculty and students improve the audio and visual quality of their learning experiences.

OptiClean Dual-Mode Air Scrubber & Negative Air Machine

Indoor Air Quality

California District Installs 1,500 Carrier OptiClean Air Scrubbers

The Manteca Unified School District in Manteca, Calif., has installed 1,500 Carrier OptiClean Dual-Mode Air Scrubber & Negative Air Machines across 30 schools in preparation to fully reopen. The product, which was named one of TIME’s 100 Best Inventions of 2020, will help improve the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) for the more than 27,000 returning MUSD students, faculty, and staff.