School Building Week

The week of Apr. 18-22, 2005 — School Building Week — will be a week of celebration and collaboration. Locally, school districts across the country will come together to spotlight their school facilities — encouraging parents, neighbors and businesses to find out more about their school buildings and the effect they have on the success of their students. Nationally, the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), along with the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Institute of Architects, School Planning & Management magazine and more than 40 associations, agencies and private firms are partnering in this endeavor.

What started out as a one-day event has grown into a week-long celebration. School Building Day was established in 1992 by CEFPI to draw attention to the important role that school buildings play in the education of our children. The call went out to the parents, the public and the politicians to take notice of building inadequacies and classroom conditions that negatively impact learning; to develop partnerships that focus on the effective planning, operation and management of school buildings; and to take a proactive role in the improvement of schools. The call was answered as schools across the country took part in the celebration.

This year, School Building Week celebration begins on Monday, Apr. 18, with Healthy Schools Day. Healthy Schools Day is designed to increase awareness, stimulate activity and recognize the efforts of those who protect children from environmental health risks at schools nationwide. Tuesday, Apr. 19, has been designated as Historic Schools Day. The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s program,“If These Schools Could Talk,” will serve as a guide. As students immerse themselves in this historical investigation and uncover the history of their school, they will gain an understanding of why it was built, the many purposes it has served in the community and how its student body has changed through time.

On Wednesday, Apr. 200,schools across the country will celebrate Senior Citizens in School Day. With the aging of America, it is more important than ever to forge an intergenerational coalition of support for public education. Inviting seniors into your school is one way to engage the broader community and create new intergenerational connections and find ways to share school facilities with seniors.

On Thursday, Apr. 21, Schools as Centers of Community Day will celebrate schools that have been built to serve as the hub of their community, strengthening the community’s sense of identity, coherence and consensus. Friday, Apr. 22, will start out with the Walking School Bus. The walking school bus gives students, parents and other community members an opportunity to appreciate the value of their school as a center of community. It also brings attention to safety, healthy physical activity and safe routes for children to walk and bike to school.

Students across the country are already working on their project for the Future Schools Design Competition. Mentors (architectural students, architects, engineers and construction managers) will assist the students by introducing them to the elements of planning and design, and the importance of healthy, high-performing, safe and sustainable buildings that serve as centers of community. The students must do all of the actual planning and resultant work, such as developing the requirements and conceptual design of the building, developing the“fly-around”, virtual walk-through video, writing the concept of project narrative, building the scale model and presenting the project to the jury. Bentley Corporation will provide each school’s planning team for this program with software for developing a computer model and simulation as well as a mentor/technical advisor to assist the students with their project.

School Building Week celebrations will culminate with an awards program to be held at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. An invitation has been extended to Illinois Senator Barack Obama to keynote the awards ceremony. New York Senator Hillary Clinton has also been invited to participate in a breakfast sponsored by the CEFPI Foundation & Charitable Trust.

More information can be found at . School Planning & Management magazine supports School Building Week, and we urge your support as well!