Industry News


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.

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.