School districts, colleges and universities across the country strive to provide for students’ needs – needs that are complicated by shifts in enrollment, developments in technology, ever-changing methods of instruction, community-use issues and aging school buildings.
As state governments continue to struggle with budget issues, the availability of funding for all types of educational facilities is often limited, requiring schools to make the most of every construction dollar spent. The growing awareness of environmental concerns has fostered a greater interest in “green” or sustainable school design, and the fact that schools and communities taking greater advantage of opportunities to share space, is making it necessary for those who plan, design and build these facilities to be more flexible and creative in their designs.
Higher education is also faced with issues like increased competition from for-profit institutions, student housing shortages and the need for their facilities to be part of the strategy used to recruit and retain students.
Schools, colleges and universities are being constructed at record pace in response to both a growing student population and the need to accommodate changes to the educational program. Building more flexible facilities is not enough — we must also build better facilities.
Good designs don’t just happen; they are based on research and best practice. To help fill that need for information on what makes a “good” school, School Planning & Management and College Planning & Management have established the Education Design Showcase. It is designed to be a vehicle for sharing innovative, yet practical, solutions in planning, design and construction. The goal: to share ideas that will help us achieve the best possible learning environments for all students at all levels of education.