Industry News


Trox, Tierney Announce Merger

Education technology solutions providers Trox and Tierney announced recently that the two companies will merge to form Trox + Tierney. Combined, the two organizations bring 80+ years of experience and more than 750 skilled employees to the market.

Campus Renovations

Construction at Texas University Causes Small Fire

Renovations to the Moody Coliseum on the campus of Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, resulted in a small fire on Tuesday night. The Abilene Fire Department responded to the call at about 10:30 p.m. and extinguished the flames without incident.

Campus Housing

Vanderbilt to Build Housing for Graduate, Professional Students

Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., will begin construction this week on a housing development for graduate and professional students. Construction was originally slated to begin in summer 2020 but was delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Campus Construction

Fairfield Demolishes Alumni Hall to Prep for New Construction

One of the oldest buildings on the campus of Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn., was demolished to make room for a new construction project in progress. Alumni Hall, a sports arena that played home to the men’s and women’s basketball teams and also served as a concert venue, came down in preparation for a new Arena and Convention Center.

Industry News

Akalkotkar Joins VLK as Principal

Gopinath “Gopi” Akalkotkar has joined VLK Architects as its new principal. VLK offers architecture, planning and interior design services to K-12 and higher education institutions (and other sectors) in Texas. According to VLK, “Akalkotkar will be responsible for leading VLK’s efforts in San Antonio and the South Texas market.”

New Construction

Kroger Donates $3M to University of Louisville Indoor Baseball Facility

The Kroger Louisville Division announced this week that it is donating $3 million toward the construction of an indoor baseball practice facility at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky.

Susquehanna University solar array sheep

Campus Sustainability

Sheep Help Maintain Solar Array at Pa. University

Susquehanna University’s solar array was built in 2018, just outside the city of Selinsgrove, Pa. And from April through November of each year, the university enlists help from an unconventional source to help keep the 14-acre site maintained.

Campus Modernization

WMU Prepares Three Dorms for Demolition

Western Michigan University, located in Kalamazoo, Mich., is readying its campus for a major construction initiative. According to a recent news release, contractors are preparing three small dorms for demolition while taking care to preserve and protect some natural historic features on the grounds.

Energy Harness Active Airflow

COVID-19 and Schools

Energy Harness Releases Ceiling-Mounted UV-C Light Fixture

LED manufacturing and distribution solutions provider Energy Harness recently released a new product to help schools combat COVID-19.

Campus Renovations

High-School Construction to Finish Early, Under Budget Due to COVID

Construction work on Hendersonville High School, located in Hendersonville, N.C., is set for completion in August 2022—11 months ahead of schedule. The project will also come in about half a million dollars under its $59.1-million budget.

New Construction

Lake County Schools Prepare for $65M in New Facilities

The five-year capital improvement plan for Lake County Schools, located in Tavares, Fla., includes $65 million in new and expanded schools, as well as $106.7 million in school renovation and modernization work. The plan covers planned projects between 2021 and 2025.

New Construction

Missouri State University Breaks Ground on Amphitheater, Arts Park

Missouri State University broke ground recently on a new, $6.4-million amphitheater and arts park. The open-air John Goodman Amphitheatre, named after the St. Louis alum and famous comedian, will feature a permanent stage and 350 removeable seats.


Georgetown, ENGIE Partner to Promote Energy Conservation

Georgetown University, located in Washington, D.C., recently announced a partnership with ENGIE North America to promote sustainability and energy conservation. ENGIE will manage the university’s utility system in an effort to help it achieve its sustainability goals.

New Construction

LACCD Holds Groundbreaking for $40M Student Services Building

The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) held a groundbreaking ceremony last week for the new $40-million student services building at Los Angeles Mission College. The event, which was livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook on Thursday, April 15, was the first in-person event for LACCD since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

UMMS New Education and Research Building

New Construction

UMass Medical School Reveals Design for Nine-Story Research Center

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, located in Worcester, Mass., unveiled the design this week for its new, $325-million therapeutics research and lab center. The New Education and Research Building, measuring in at 350,000 square feet, was designed by architecture firms ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge and ZGF.

New Construction

Tenn. District Considering Trade School for High-School Students

At the Hamilton County School Board meeting last week in Chattanooga, Tenn., the board donated an out-of-use school building for potential use as a partial-day construction school for high-school students.

Daniel Wright Junior High School

Campus Renovation

Redesigning Older School Buildings to Support Specific Learning Models

Our single-story school building was built in the 1970s and has been added onto and modified many times over the years. When it came time to give it yet another overhaul last year, the goal was to create a modern, collaborative learning environment that supported group work, Socratic seminars, fishbowl meetings, and STEM learners. We simply couldn’t check off all of these boxes using our existing footprint, so we started looking at how we could modify the space

Campus Renovations

Small-Town Native to Fund $40M K–12 Renovation Project

The Winifred School, part of Winifred Public Schools in Winifred, Mont., is set to receive a series of high-tech upgrades and renovations that would double the school’s original size. Upgrades to the K–12 school will include lab spaces, a woodworking area, an agricultural science space, a car repair space, and a full-size gym featuring an indoor track.

New Construction

Construction Begins on New Denver Middle/High School

Construction on a new middle/high school has begun in the Denver Community School District in Denver, Colo. The new facility will relieve space and capacity issues at the district’s existing school buildings, as its elementary, middle, and high schools currently share a single campus.

School Funding

W.Va. School Building Authority Grants $75M for School Construction

This week, the West Virginia School Building Authority (SBA) approved just under $75 million in “Needs Grants” for school construction projects in seven counties. SBA members selected the recipients from a list of proposed projects in 30 counties totaling $248 million.

New Construction

Ore. District Breaks Ground on Two New Elementary Schools

The Hermiston School District, located in Hermiston, Ore., celebrated the groundbreaking of two new elementary schools last week. One replacement facility and one new facility are both set to open in the Eastern Oregon district in 2022.

VIVOTEK VAST 2 upgrade

Campus Security

VIVOTEK Releases Update to VAST 2 IP Video Management Software

IP surveillance solutions provider VIVOTEK has released an update to its VAST 2 IP Video Management Software.

COVID-19 and Schools

Vermont Schools Receive $550M in COVID Relief Funds

Among the three relief packages passed by Congress since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vermont schools and the state’s Agency of Education have received a total of $566 million in federal funding. About $100 million has already been put toward reopening schools, retrofitting buildings for social distancing purposes, upgrading HVAC systems, and other ancillary expenses like hand sanitizer.

Rapid Dx Labs, Ginkgo Bioworks Partner

COVID-19 and Schools

Rapid Dx Laboratory, Ginkgo Bioworks Partner to Offer Pooled COVID Testing

Rapid Dx Laboratory has announced a partnership with Concentric by Ginkgo to provide pooled COVID-19 testing to K–12 schools in both in-person and hybrid learning environments.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.