When it comes to school construction, there are a few key drivers. Projects are often influenced by community needs, changes in curriculum, advancements in learning practices and financial circumstances. And when you work on these projects first-hand, there are many lessons learned. Over the years, we've partnered with both public and private school districts to design, construct, expand and renovate nearly 100 educational facilities.
Each project included specific goals, visions, restrictions and results. Today, I'm sharing a bit about what we've learned on the topic of school construction in the hopes that it may aid or even inspire opportunities to invest in and strengthen communities.
School Construction Blogs
In the following six blogs, we cover various areas of school construction from growing trends and referendum support to budgetary successes and recaps of past school construction projects.
1. Emerging School Construction Trends
Design trends and innovation in school construction continue to enhance the way educational projects are planned, designed and built to sustain. Our blog, Emerging School Construction Trends, covers some of the recent trends in school construction, including an emphasis on green schools where the social, economic and environmental impact of the building structure is a major part of the discussion.
2. Pre-Referendum Tips and Services
Referendums are one of the most public components of school construction, and as you know, they don't always pass. In our blog Have a Big Vote Coming Up? we provide tips and insights for districts, committees and community members hoping to pass a school referendum.
3. An Insider's Perspective on School Construction
In his guest blog, What I've Learned about School Construction, Mike Spanier shares his insights gathered during his 43 years in education. Having held positions as a teacher, administrator, principal, director of teaching and superintendent, Mike's perspective on adapting to the changing circumstances within public education are comprehensive. Join Mike as he discusses preparing and supporting referendums, along with the importance of focusing on functionality in school construction.
4. School Construction Feature: Annandale Elementary School
After a successful referendum comes the construction project itself. Annandale Elementary school's $22 million construction project included several safety upgrades and cost controlling measures, resulting in a unique, green and sustainable school. Read our recap of the project, School Feature: Annandale Elementary School, which details many of the sustainable building components of the project.
"Visitors are always amazed by the amount of natural light we have when they walk into our classroom. We have plenty of space for the Kindergarteners to learn, play and have fun at school. It's great!"
-Mrs. Kaylee Fraser, Annandale Kindergartener Teacher
5. School Construction Feature: Kennedy Community School
The Kennedy Community School project was born out of the need to accommodate a booming student population in the growing St. Joseph, MN community. The community strongly advocated for a green school and a school that could house grades 7 and 8 in addition to the typical elementary school configuration. Our blog, Project Feature: Kennedy Community School, details the green building approach that resulted in Kennedy Community School being selected as the Minnesota Construction Association's 2009 Green/Sustainable Project of the Year.
6. The Payoff of Green Schools
In order for school districts to sustain growth and control operating costs, schools need to be built smarter. In LEED Engineering Tripled School Size Without Increasing Operating Cost, we return to Kennedy Community School in St. Joseph, MN as an example of smart and budget-friendly engineering. LEED Engineering was the driving force behind this construction project that gave one community a new, Pre-K – 8 school that was three times the size of the original building without increasing operating costs.
If you’d like to discuss any of these topics or projects further, or if you'd like to discuss opportunities for your local school, request a meeting with our School Construction Specialist.