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A REPORT OF FINDINGS Buffalo Public Schools Carroll County Schools Los Angeles Unified School District Natrona County School District Pass Christian School District September 17 – 19, 2006

American Architectural Foundation The American Architectural Foundation (AAF) is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to educate individuals and community leaders about the power of architecture to transform lives and improve the places where we live, learn, work, and play. Through numerous outreach programs, grants, and educational resources, AAF inspires people to become thoughtful and engaged stewards of the built environment. AAF’s Great Schools by Design program aims to improve the quality of America’s schools by promoting good design, encouraging collaboration in the design process, and providing leading-edge resources that empower schools and communities to transform themselves. Throughout the country, Great Schools by Design engages superintendents, architects, teachers, parents, citizens, students, and local government officials in a far-reaching conversation about what must be done to improve the places where children and adults learn. At AAF, we strive to help create schools that both support student achievement and serve as centers of community. For more information, please visit us online at

1799 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20006 Phone: 202.626.7318 Fax: 202.626.7420 Email:

AAF’s school design institutes aim to bring new knowledge to superintendents and other public officials involved in the construction and renovation of schools in order to help them improve the design of schools in the 21st century. This program offers decision makers an opportunity to reconsider the setting in which education is delivered. Recent advances in technology, educational theory, and our understanding of how students learn has led to new ideas about how our schools should be designed and built. We welcome your interest in this report of findings from the National School Design Institute and hope you will find it a valuable resource. This document reflects the comments and recommendations of specific projects presented by the superintendents of five school districts. Each superintendent was invited to bring an educational specialist, a community representative, and the project architect to work with a team of nationally recognized architects specializing in the field of K–12 education. Two designers were assigned to each district, and a design charrette was conducted for each project during the one and one-half days of the institute. This process was highly collaborative and involved the school officials in discussion about the benefits of good design and planning so that they could lead their districts in supporting innovative solutions. In the pages ahead, you will read about projects in Buffalo, New York; Carroll County, Georgia (west of Atlanta); Los Angeles, California; Natrona County, Wyoming (which includes the city of Casper); and Pass Christian, Mississippi, a community devastated by Hurricane Katrina. A section of the report is devoted to a summary of each school district and its demographics, a project description, and specific design challenges. Embedded in the comments and design recommendations are best practices regarding a range of issues, such as school size, technology, trends in learning, siting and location, and public process and community-school collaboration. It is hoped that you will learn from these examples and use this information as a guide when considering your school design challenges. The American Architectural Foundation appreciates the generous support of Target, our presenting sponsor for Great Schools by Design. For the National School Design Institute, Architectural Record also served as a sponsor. The design solutions for each district are also presented in a special issue of Architectural Record published in January 2007 on “Schools of the 21st Century.” This special issue has been distributed to subscribers of both Architectural Record and Edutopia. AAF would also like to acknowledge support from its many other sponsors and, in particular, the contributions of the resource team members and school officials. We look forward to continuing to contribute to the national discussion about the importance of creating learning environments that promote student achievement and better serve communities.

Ronald E. Bogle President and CEO, American Architectural Foundation

National School Design Institute A REPORT OF FINDINGS

Table of Contents






















AAF Great Schools by Design


look beyond the school building and the school site and consider how the facility can provide benefits

Great Schools by Design is a national initiative of

to the entire community.

the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) that seeks to improve the quality of America’s schools

AAF brings a variety of school design stakeholders

and the communities they serve by promoting

together through such events as the National

collaboration, excellence, and innovation in school

Summit on School Design; the Design for Learning

design. Throughout the country, Great Schools

Forum; other forums on particular topics; and

by Design engages superintendents, architects,

school design institutes that help decision makers

teachers, parents, residents, students, local

consider innovative options for school construction.

government officials, and other stakeholders in a

In addition, AAF is working with its partner,

far-reaching conversation about what must be done

KnowledgeWorks Foundation, to produce a video

to improve the places where children and young

library of best practices in school design. The first

adults learn. AAF strives to help create schools

award-winning video, “Schools as Centers of

that both support student achievement and serve

Community: John A. Johnson Elementary School,”

as centers of community.

has received wide national exposure. A second video, “Schools Designed for Learning: The Denver

Each day across the United States, more than

School of Science and Technology,” was released

59 million students, teachers, and education

in December 2006.

employees spend considerable time in the nation’s 120,000 school buildings. Unfortunately, too many of these schools are aging, crowded, and in need


of repair. These pervasive conditions negatively affect children’s ability to learn and teachers’

“The National School Design Institute is a showcase

ability to teach. With school enrollment forecast

for advancing school design in America,” says

to increase at record levels through 2013 and

Ronald E. Bogle, president and CEO of the

spending on school construction, renovation, and

American Architectural Foundation. “Since new

maintenance expected to total nearly $30 billion

schools represent such a historic investment in

annually, the need to transform our schools has

the educational excellence of a community, it is

never been more urgent.

important to apply the best ideas and practices for lasting success.”

It is essential that the school district interface with the community. Educational facilities should be built

The National School Design Institute is a variation

for adults as well as children, to support lifelong

on previous institutes but follows the format of

learning—and for community residents as well as

having superintendents present specific develop-

school teachers and administrators. The point is to

ment projects. In addition to superintendents,

National School Design Institute


each school district was also represented by an

districts and to design schools that reflect the

education specialist; a community representative;

needs of the students and their communities.

and either the project architect, if a consultant had been chosen, or the district’s facility planner,

School districts that were invited to participate at

if the project was still at a conceptual stage.

the National School Design Institute were chosen to ensure diversity in location and project type. The

The other unique aspect of the National School

projects represented a range of design and site

Design Institute is that each district, after presenting

location challenges, as described below:

its project, participated in a design charrette.

Buffalo—The 80-year-old Riverside High School

Two school design experts were teamed with

is slated to be renovated to create a “school

each district to review, comment, and recommend

within a school,” for an entrepreneurial business

development options. The challenges of each

program, with support from the business

project were discussed and solutions presented.

community and the University of Buffalo.

This was a collaborative process, with each team

Carroll County—This fast-growing county west of

member providing crucial input. The participants

Atlanta plans to build a new two-story high school

were periodically invited to visit other charrette

for 1,800 students, featuring a separate grade 9

groups, so that district representatives had

academy, on the site of an existing facility.

opportunities to learn from other districts.

Los Angeles—South LA High School #3 will be a new school on a 15-acre site in a residential

The school districts worked with design experts

neighborhood for 2,000 students in four small,

to ensure that the ultimate proposals would be

themed learning communities.

realistic, workable, and representative of the best

Natrona County—The county plans to build a

in current educational design. All 10 design

new high school in Casper to accommodate

experts work for prominent architectural firms that

1,000 to 1,200 students; there are a number of

excel in school design. They are members of the

developable sites and programs to consider,

American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee

including an applied arts curriculum.

on Architecture for Education. They were selected

Pass Christian—Plans are to replace an

with the following criteria in mind: active involvement

elementary and middle school destroyed by

in designing schools, recognition by professional

Hurricane Katrina with a new K–8 school to

organizations, active involvement in school issues,

accommodate up to 1,000 students.

published in professional journals, exhibiting a forward-thinking approach, graphic skills, and

Together with AAF, the presenting sponsors for the

a collaborative working style. The designers

National School Design Institute include Architectural

represented a diverse array of firms, but all had

Record and Target. Case studies presented at the

the ability to lead a thoughtful discussion and move

institute are also published in a special issue of

a group toward consensus. Most importantly,

Architectural Record on School Design of the 21st

the designers brought their knowledge of current

Century, published in January 2007.

educational issues and their desire to use the design process to further the goals of the school


AAF Great Schools by Design


district representatives became more involved in the analysis and more comfortable with the design process. This led to significant contributions by all

School districts invited to participate in school

team members.

design institutes are chosen on the basis of the extent and cost of construction projects that are

The charrette design process proved a highly

funded and scheduled. Since the institute is

engaging way to involve everyone in solving

designed to present information to superintendents

problems. AAF believes that the experience

and other public officials about the importance of

provided a significant benefit to decision makers.

innovative design, AAF ensures that the knowledge

Having decision makers work through various

gained will be transferable to succeeding projects.

scenarios and provide immediate feedback resulted

The value of the institute is reflected in the number

in an optimal solution for each district. Furthermore,

of projects that can be affected by increased

the decision makers have been given the tools to

knowledge of the benefits of design for student

better evaluate design proposals—and to expect

achievement. AAF also expects that the officials

the most innovative solutions.

who participate will, in turn, educate others, thus extending the reach of the Great Schools by Design program. Each participating school district is presented in a separate section of the report. The information provided for each district includes the criteria that illustrate why each district was invited to participate, some general information about the geographic area, a summary of data on the school district, and the design challenge as presented by the local team. A discussion of the design recommendations is followed by a review of lessons learned. Biographies of all participants are included at the end of the report. The representatives of each district brought site plans and building plans, as well as other relevant data to use in the charrette process. In working with the design experts assigned to each team, they investigated the problem and considered various design solutions. Everyone participated in the process, with the designers graphically illustrating alternative solutions. Throughout the charrette, the

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Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent: James A. Williams, Ed.D. Community representative: Donna M. Brown, Director of Community Outreach, LP Ciminelli, Inc. Education specialist: Amber Dixon, Executive Director for Project Initiatives, Buffalo Public Schools Project architect: Donald E. Gray, AIA, Wendel Duchscherer Resource team: Philip (Pip) Lewis, AIA, LEED AP, HMFH Architects, Inc., Cambridge, MA Anne Schopf, AIA, Mahlum, Seattle, WA Buffalo Public Schools was invited to present a

Buffalo for milling and transfer to the East. Buffalo

project for review, comment, and revision at the

soon became the largest milling center in the world.

National School Design Institute because the district is in the midst of an ambitious $1 billion capital

Electric power production in Niagara Falls propelled

reconstruction project that affects a large number

Buffalo to the forefront of an industry offering

of facilities: 9 schools were renovated in phase I,

low-priced and abundant energy supplies. A steel

13 schools are under construction in phase II, and

industry rivaling Pittsburgh’s emerged. In 1950,

9 more are in schematic design for phase III. The

Buffalo’s population peaked at close to 600,000.

project presented at the institute is the renovation

The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959,

and reconstruction of Riverside High School,

however, immediately ended Buffalo’s importance

a phase III development project and part of the

as an inland port. Ships could now travel from

districtwide Joint Schools Construction Project.

the Atlantic to the Great Lakes, bypassing the canal system. This event, along with migration to the


South, started a precipitous decline in Buffalo’s population.

Buffalo, New York, is the second largest city in New York state, with a population of 295,000 according

Buffalo’s political structure consists of a mayor and

to the 2000 Census. The city encompasses 42

an elected common council, whose members

square miles and owes its existence to the benefits

represent specific geographic districts. The school

of its location at the eastern end of Lake Erie. With

district is run by an appointed superintendent and

the opening of the Erie Canal in the 1820s, Buffalo

an elected school board, whose members also

quickly became the gateway to the West. Virtually

represent geographic districts. The school district

everything that came from the East Coast traveled

is entirely within the bounds of the city and is

along the Erie Canal and was transferred to Great

described as a “dependent district,” because it has

Lake freighters in Buffalo for shipment to the West.

no bonding capacity or voter approval for budgets.

Ships from the Midwest also unloaded their grain in

The district’s bonding is shared with the city. Only


AAF Great Schools by Design

9.3 percent of the school budget comes from the

architects. In addition, the city is surrounded by

city; the state contributes the vast majority of funds.

the world’s most extensive Frederick Law Olmsted– designed park system.

Higher education is the major employer in Buffalo. The New York University at Buffalo is the largest


university in the state, with more than 25,000 students. Buffalo State College is the largest SUNY

The school district is building and closing schools

(State University of New York) college in the state,

at the same time. Buffalo has approximately 70

with 15,000 students. Other schools in Buffalo are

school buildings, with an average age of more than

the Jesuit-run Canisius College, D’Youville College,

70 years. For the past six years the Buffalo Public

Daemon College, Trocaire College, Villa Maria

Schools and LP Ciminelli Construction Companies

College, Hilbert College, Erie Community College,

have been involved in a $1 billion capital recon-

and Niagara University. There are close to 60,000

struction project. A joint construction board has been

college and university students in Buffalo. Other

formed, with the mayor and the superintendent as

major employers are the government, the grain

co-chairs, to oversee the project. Nine schools

milling industry (Pillsbury and General Mills), and

have been completed in phase I. Thirteen are

the auto industry, consisting of a General Motors

under construction in phase II, and nine more are

engine plant, a Ford stamping plant, Delphi Thermal

in schematic design in phase III.

Systems, and American Axle. When this reconstruction project was first envisioned, Attractions include professional sports teams: the

all Buffalo’s schools were surveyed to determine

Buffalo Bills, the Buffalo Sabres, and the Buffalo

what work was needed to provide students with

Bisons, a minor league baseball team. Buffalo has

the best learning environments. Although obvious

a world-famous modern art collection—the Albright

deficiencies were found—such as inadequate

Knox Art Gallery—as well as the Buffalo and Erie

power, old plumbing, drafty windows, leaky roofs,

County Historical Museum and the Burchfield

inefficient heating, and worn finishes—what also

Penney Art Museum.

became apparent was the inherent quality of most of these buildings. Constructed entirely of masonry,

The city is also home to a number of Frank Lloyd

with large bright windows, rich woodwork, and

Wright residences, including the seminal Prairie-

elaborate spaces, these buildings could not be

style Darwin Martin House, which is undergoing

duplicated and will certainly last decades more.

a $30 million restoration. Louis Sullivan’s terracotta-

It was determined that instead of building new

clad Guaranty Building is downtown, and to the

schools, the existing ones would be renovated.

north is H. H. Richardson’s largest commission

Thus began a project in which approximately 60

ever, the sprawling sandstone Buffalo Psychiatric

schools will be totally renovated.

Center. Buffalo is one of only three cities to have work by these three most famous American

In 2005, the new superintendent of schools, James A. Williams, Ed.D., introduced a plan for increasing student achievement and the goal of a 100 percent

National School Design Institute


graduation rate for Buffalo students. He led develop-

educational programs that are forced to fit into

ment of a Three-Year Academic Achievement Plan

existing spaces. The stark reality is that virtually

to strengthen reading and mathematics instruction.

all of Buffalo’s public schools are from the age

As part of this plan, he is implementing a high

before computers. Today both intellectual and

school reform initiative that addresses both the

technological knowledge are basic prerequisites

structure and curricula of district high schools.

for our children to be competitive in the world marketplace.

The school district educates approximately 37,000 students, a number that has been decreasing,

The districtwide Joint Schools Construction Project,

owing to both general population decline and a

of which Riverside High School is a part, has identi-

rise in the number of charter schools. Schools are

fied the following goals, objectives, and principles:

predominately pre-K–8 and grades 9–12, with

Satisfy the district’s fundamental need for facilities

some pre-K–4 Early Childhood Centers and grades

that can perform at the high level established

5–8 middle schools. Buffalo has very high-quality

in the Core Model Programs for state-of-the-art

technical schools: Hutchinson Central Technical

schools in the 21st century.

High School, the Buffalo Academy for the Visual

Accomplish the logistical needs of ensuring an urban school system, with diverse neighborhoods

and Performing Arts, and City Honors.

and demographic profiles served by schools that are fundamentally equitable to all.

To understand the need for this districtwide renovation program, one may find it helpful to look

the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

at the historical perspective:

• •

Between 1882 and 1900, the district built 45 new

Provide an environment in which each child has

Increase classroom size and functionality to at

schools and made major additions to 12 others.

least the minimum requirements of the New York

A second building wave occurred from 1921

State Educational Department.

to 1931, when 33 new schools and 24 additions

were built.

The principle guiding the administration and

Then from 1952 to 1970, another 17 new schools

educational leaders in the school district, as well

and 17 additions were constructed.

as the planning team, is that educational benefits and lasting quality hold equal priority at each

The heyday of enrollment in Buffalo Public Schools

decision point in the Buffalo Public Schools Strategic

was before World War II, when there were 95,000

Plan Update. Thus, the mission is to realize the full

students. The historic milestones are interesting

potential of each school in the reconstruction plan

and reveal a trend in which major school facility

as a major investment that is expected to serve

programs occurred nearly every 20 years. Present

the community over the next 20 years.

conditions are the result of building only three new schools over the past 35 years and of developing


a pattern of deferred maintenance. The combined effect is that the gaps between facilities become

The renovation and reconstruction of Riverside High

magnified and even accelerated, resulting in

School is part of phase III of the Joint Schools


AAF Great Schools by Design

Construction Project. Buffalo Public Schools and

an entrepreneurial business program, featuring

the consulting architectural firm presented a draft

incubator labs as learning spaces for students.

plan for the School of Entrepreneurship program

Here, in partnership with community business

and the initial design drawings for the renovation

people and local colleges and universities, students

of Riverside High School.

will put into practice what they are learning in the classroom by establishing and operating start-up

The renewal of the school, an 80-year-old building,

businesses to provide goods and services to the

is to include a “school within a school” that will

school and the neighborhood.

introduce an entrepreneurial business program. The genesis for the program is a Buffalo business-

During the charrette, issues of building security,

man who is committed to incorporating business

accessibility, and zoning were discussed. These

expertise into the academic program. The University

issues were of particular concern for the community

of Buffalo has a business program and may be

and for students because of the new program’s

another potential partner.

expected hours of operation (8 am to 8 pm). The superintendent suggested that the vision be altered

The goal is to assist in improving the economy of

from a single, small academy focused on entrepre-

the area by producing experts in small business

neurial business to a whole-school approach of three

development. It is estimated that $30 million to $40

academies, each with a distinct entrepreneurial

million will be spent on renovation of Riverside High

focus. This approach helped establish a sense of

School. Because it is an early 20th-century urban

direction for the program, creating a clearer vision

school, the design must be reviewed by the State

for the entire school while preserving the educational

Historic Preservation Organization (SHPO).

advantages of small, focused learning environments.


The four-story school had recent renovations to its library (on the third floor) and science labs (on

“Then the superintendent came in and said,

the fourth floor) that needed to be maintained for

‘Stop thinking small—why not make it a whole

budgetary reasons. This physical constraint, along

school of entrepreneurship with three smaller

with the distribution of available space on each

learning units?’”

floor, began to drive the placement of the academic —Amber Dixon, Executive

areas for each entrepreneurial academy. A quick

Director for Project Initiatives

analysis showed that each of the three top floors could share space with one communal function and

Riverside High School, a four-story building, is to

also contain the dedicated learning and support

house small academies of learning for a total of 900

spaces required for one individual academy.

students. The completed schematic design showed that this renovation complies with the educational

To create strong community partnerships in support

needs of the district and conforms to SHPO

of the incubator spaces and to tie the program

requirements. The charrette team was charged

into the business community, charrette participants

with designing one of the small academies as

determined that the incubator labs for all academies

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should be located together on the lowest level of the

operational, a new handicap-accessible main

school. Here the labs would be highly visible to each

entrance path will wrap around and enter below

other and easily accessible to the community. In this

the grand stair. In addition, both floors will be tied

way, the entire floor could serve as a synergistic and

together by a pair of flanking double-height spaces

experimental environment for learning.

providing unity, light, and ceremonial importance for visitors’ introduction to the school at both levels.

The historic plan of the building posed additional

At the lower level, the design solution provides a

challenges. The main entrance is accessed by an

series of flexible lab spaces organized along the

exterior monumental stair that rises an entire floor,

building’s perimeter. These spaces will capitalize on

bypassing the lowest level. The lowest level is very

the abundant daylight, with continuous visual links

close to existing grade with access to daylight on

into the labs from the corridors.

all sides. Two light wells provide daylight in the core of the building down to this level. Handicapped

Also at this level, the bottoms of the light wells are

access to the entire school is through a small side

enlivened; one is landscaped to provide an

door from an adjacent parking lot. If the incubator

attractive focal point around a student gathering

level is to provide links to community, its accessibility

and break-out space. The other becomes a skylit

and visibility must be improved. Although the

focal point for food service, with a “scramble”

monumental entrance to the floor above remains

arrangement of food stations. The idea of using the

Preliminary drawing of the lower level of the School of Entrepreneurship


AAF Great Schools by Design

light wells for community gathering is carried up

program with the school design. The school

through the school, with casual seating, study,

building can now be a tool for program delivery.

and display areas arranged around the wells to

The charrette process engaged high-level

create a focal point on each floor that is directly

educational policy makers in collaborating

visable by dispersed administration and counseling

directly with designers. This approach is far


more desirable than having decision makers simply respond to solutions developed on the

Making use of an abandoned railroad right-of-way,

basis of more limited information. Active

the proposal calls for the athletic fields to be

involvement of district leadership in the design

expanded and rotated away from the building,

process enables broader integration of the

providing space for a new detached sports pavilion

educational mission in facility design and

that respects the symmetry of the existing school.

allows for dynamic change in the design of

The pavilion creates a protected south-facing

the instructional model. Innovative learning

terrace that will support exterior dining and

environments are the result.

concessions. A new parking lot is placed on the east side of the school to support service, staff,

Opportunities exist for school construction projects

and special events.

to reach beyond their immediate focus of providing space for students to learn:


School construction projects provide an opportunity for the community to assist in moving

“Our hope is that this project will be a living

both the school district and the region forward.

recommendation for future educators and

Each brick laid represents a building block in the

architects to see the value of using the

future of both the school and the region.

Institute, and then combining that with the

Local business leaders and higher-education institutions offer schools a valuable source of

support of the business community”. —Donald E. Gray, AIA

information and resources.

School construction projects stimulate the local

It is not surprising to see that better decisions can

economy. In fact, significant district projects

be made when the right people are at the table.

often are the largest-scale construction effort in

Schools can provide more than just space for

the immediate community.

traditional learning practices. In addition, there is

Students benefit from educational activities that

intrinsic value in saving historic structures that can

weave real-life learning into the curriculum. The

be adapted for new uses. The following discussion

incubator labs are springboards to economic

adds detail to these major findings.

development in the region.

Everyone benefits when students gain skills that

The process and techniques that lead to school

match local economic needs. Academic

design decisions can be improved:

programs and construction programs can work

The team approach allowed for simultaneous

in concert to create both employment training

development and integration of the academic

and career opportunities for students.

National School Design Institute


Reusing historic school buildings can be an opportunity for community development:

An opportunity exists to build a bridge from the proud history of these schools with a vision for the future and to acknowledge the achievements and traditions valued by alumni while sowing the seeds for the next generation of graduates.

Historic schools, many of which have superior daylight and ventilation characteristics, can deliver education in smaller communities of learning.

Providing accessibility for all, in a gracious and inviting manner, is one key element in transforming our historic schools into resources for our communities.


AAF Great Schools by Design

Carroll County Schools Superintendent: John Zauner Community representative: Roy Denney, AIA, Southern A&E, LLC Education specialist: David Goldberg, Facilities Development Officer Project architect: Stephen M. McCune, AIA, Southern A&E, LLC Resource team: Pat Bosch, LEED AP, Perkins + Will, Miami, FL John Weekes, AIA, Dull Olson Weekes Architects, Portland, OR Carroll County Schools represents a rapidly growing

The rapidly growing enrollment population presents

southern suburban school district. It is located

challenges in planning for and meeting the facility

about 50 miles west of Atlanta. Given the forecast

needs of Carroll County students. Carroll County

that the population of the 20-county Atlanta

Schools is currently the 23rd largest of 180 school

Metropolitan Statistical Area will double by 2050 to

districts in Georgia (Georgia Professional Standards

approximately 8 million people, it can be presumed

Commission, 2005). In 2005, U.S. Census data

that growth will occur continually, placing ever-

showed that Carroll County was the 92nd fastest-

greater demands on public facilities. Carroll County

growing U.S. county and that Georgia will become

is just beginning to experience these growth

the ninth most populous state in the nation by 2025

pressures. The project presented for review is

(Georgia Professional Standards Commission;

the reconstruction of Central High School at its

U.S. Census Bureau, 2005).

existing site. Three school systems—Carroll County Schools,


Carrollton City Schools, and Bremen City Schools— are contained within the geographic boundaries of

Carroll County’s population is approximately 100,000;

Carroll County.

the county covers 500 square miles. It is located on the Georgia-Alabama state line approximately 50

Carroll County Schools serve approximately 15,200

miles west of downtown Atlanta; 85 miles north of

students at 24 school sites. Carrollton City Schools

Columbus, Georgia; 95 miles south of Chattanooga,

is an independent city system serving approximately

Tennessee; and 100 miles east of Birmingham,

3,653 students in four academic facilities. Although

Alabama. Interstate 20 provides easy access

capital needs planning within Carrollton City lies

to and from these points and has been a catalyst

beyond the purview of educational specifications

for population growth along the county’s northern

planning for Carroll County Schools, factors affecting


one or both systems were considered as appropriate or necessary in facilities development. Bremen City School System is composed of four schools, H. A.

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Jones Elementary, Sewell Middle School, Bremen

The Southwire Corporation and Carroll County

High School, and Bremen Crossroads Academy.

Schools are currently joining forces to target at-risk

There are 1,674 students served in grades K-12,

students by creating a real-life working and learning

and 101 students in the Pre-Kindergarten Program.

program. Targeted students will be given the opportunity to work at a Southwire manufacturing


facility program designed especially for students. These students not only will get on-the-job, real-life

Carroll County Schools operates its facilities to

experience but also will be paid a competitive wage.

ensure a safe, well-maintained, and orderly physical environment that promotes student achievement.

The district currently consists of 24 schools that

Elementary and middle schools in Carroll County

vary in age and quality. In the past three years,

have historically been constructed to feed five

the district has completed construction of a new

high schools situated within five community hubs

middle school, a new elementary school, and the

throughout the district. Though consolidating school

first two-story addition to an elementary school.

service areas remains an option for future growth,

Current construction projects include adding two

the Carroll County Board of Education is at present

science labs to a high school, adding 12 classrooms

committed to honor—and continues to support—

to a middle school, and building a new elementary

the communities’ preference for traditional locations

school. Within the next six months, the district

of schools throughout the system. Historical school

will begin construction of two grade 9 academies,

feeder patterns are reflected in the assessment

a kitchen and cafeteria addition to an elementary

of instructional needs contained in the Five-Year

school, and an administration and media center

Facilities Plan.

addition to an elementary school.

Carroll County Schools is committed to providing


instructional services to students in facilities that serve the social, emotional, mental, and develop-

Central High School currently supports 1,500

mental needs of grades K–12. The Five-Year

students; that number is expected to grow to 1,800

Facilities Plan defines grade-level organization

in the coming years. Located adjacent to a retail

as elementary (K–5), middle school (grades 6–8),

center and near Highway 166, which connects

and high school (grades 9–12). Educational

Carroll County with Atlanta, it is a typical suburban

specifications for Carroll County Schools include

high school campus with sports fields, buildings,

a commitment to handicapped students, staff

and parking. Over the life of the school, community

members, and community stakeholders to provide

members have donated $10 million to upgrade

facilities that meet local, state, and federal require-

the athletic venues. The buildings that form the

ments for access as defined in the U.S. Americans

high school, however, are old or need functional

with Disabilities Act. Fifty-two percent of students

upgrades. The condition of the buildings pales in

are enrolled in the free or reduced-price lunch

comparison with the high quality of the fields.

program. The current graduation rate is 68 percent.


AAF Great Schools by Design

The academic success of students at Central High

core functional spaces (kitchen and cafeteria,

varies. The school has a strong sense of tradition,

media center, administrative areas) can be

and the community expects academic rigor.

maintained until the new facilities are occupied.

However, as is typical of most high schools,

When completed, the school’s 27 acres of property

30 percent of students do not graduate, and

would include 215,184 square feet of new

educational programs seem to appeal to only

classroom space, a renovated gymnasium and

a small fraction of those in attendance.

practice gym, additional parking, and improved bus and student pickup areas.

The school district’s recent decision to maintain Central High on its current site and expand in place

This project is proposed to begin with construction

has been fueled by the following factors:

of a new two-story building on the site of the current

The proximity to Carrollton, the county’s seat of

tennis courts and a small parking lot. The site is


adjacent to a new athletic field house next to the

Rising land costs and the limited availability of

stadium. This two-story building would create

land parcels of appropriate size and location.

classroom space for vocational training on the first

The high value of athletic infrastructure

floor and a grade 9 academy on the second. The

improvements, which were community funded

grade 9 academy would allow freshmen students

and not eligible for state funding.

the opportunity to remain partially insulated from

A strong community identity and sense of place

the older student population during their transition

associated with the existing location.

from middle school to high school.

• •

The school district presented a plan for Central

During phase II of construction, the vocational wing

High School for review, comment, and possible

and the band choral building would be demolished

revision by the resource team members. The initial

to create room for a new cafeteria and lunchroom.

architectural study indicated that renewal or

The first portion of the existing classroom building

replacement of the campus buildings would need

would be demolished to build the first academic

to be implemented in phases. That study proposed

wing. This wing could house 30 classrooms on

a series of two-story classroom blocks placed in

two floors.

rows behind a library and administration building anchoring the front of the campus. Initial develop-

Phase III construction would add a second two-

ment would consist of a two-story grade 9 academy

story academic wing, administration space, a

located in available open space on the south end

media center, and a business education wing for

of the campus, with future classroom buildings

an additional 36 instructional units. The existing

incrementally replacing existing facilities over

cafeteria and several additional classrooms would

time. The main gym and particularly the fields are

be removed to provide extra space.

to remain. The final phase would include the demolition of This scenario allows for maintaining school func-

the existing media center and administration area

tionality during an extended construction period. All

to make way for increased parking and a better-

National School Design Institute


developed street presence. The existing gyms can

Connections: Create and support connections

be renovated. An existing road on the site can be

between students, teachers, parents, and

restored and incorporated into a new bus drop-off

community members.

area. Final site circulation improvements would

Inside and outside: Expand teaching and learning opportunities by using the entire

separate bus and car traffic.

campus rather than only interior space.


Agility: Create an environment that can adjust to changes.

“And this plan as it evolved … is a whole lot

Variety: Create dynamic and diverse spatial

different and a whole lot better, while keeping

sizes, groupings, organizational arrangements,

our original ideas in mind.”

functional capabilities, and aesthetic possibilities

—John Zauner, Superintendent

throughout the school.

Layers: Create a physical environment that

Discussions with Carroll County revealed a series of

grows out of the site both horizontally and

needs and interests based on educational program


expectations and functional considerations that


the original architectural concept did not address. On the basis of these discussions, a set of planning

Sustainability: Use low-impact environmental

Transformation: Create an environment that

principles was established from which a new

elevates and focuses teaching and learning on

campus plan was developed.

the future.

The new campus plan is based on a series of

The use of building blocks and planning patterns

building blocks. These compact, three-story blocks

created a “kit of parts” with which the new campus

minimize the footprint of the entire building and

master plan was developed.

reduce the impacts of a phased development plan. The smaller building footprints also create more

The proposed new campus places building blocks

opportunities to develop exterior learning and

around a central courtyard. Students enter the

gathering places. A series of planning patterns

courtyard through the main entry, which is divided

were identified for the campus. These patterns are

into two zones: an active learning area (the “Lion’s

intended to support the educational program by

Den”) and a passive landscaped area adjacent to

informing the organization and relationship of the

the media-cafeteria block. This three-story building

building blocks and defining the nature of space

block is envisioned as the beacon for the campus.

within each of them:

The cafeteria is on the main level and allows use

Student centered: Create a place that focuses

of the courtyard for outdoor dining. The library is

on the whole student.

designed to interrelate with the cafeteria in a new

Collegiality: Create an environment of learning

social and dynamic three-story space, similar to a

and support.

cybercafé, that will have access to the fields and

Hierarchy and order: Establish levels of

courtyards, providing view corridors during the

importance, strength, and significance.

day and serving as a community center at night.

• •


AAF Great Schools by Design

Project-phasing and building components.

Binding the courtyard on the east and west are two

Rather than classroom buildings, these blocks are

learning blocks. The learning blocks contain a new

envisioned as centers of learning. They are capable

grade 9 academy, professional technical programs,

of accommodating a variety of activities and teaching

and learning spaces for grades 10–12.

and learning needs on three levels. Furthermore, as

National School Design Institute


one circulates upward, the facility is interconnected vertically with multistory volumes, circulation pathways, and extended learning areas.

LESSONS LEARNED The Carroll County team came up with a list of inspiring action items. Though succinct, these items can be used to guide all future development projects:

Suspend certainty. What would you accomplish if you knew you could not fail?

Focus on the intellectual, physical, and social needs of students.

• • • •

Establish a clear vision. Allow the “aha” moment to emerge. Avoid what is. Focus instead on what is possible. Create ownership by participating in an expanded group of patrons, educators, community members, and students.

Respond to the needs of parents, students, teachers, and community members to obtain more meaningful solutions.

Create a culture change by redefining the physical nature of traditional learning environments.


AAF Great Schools by Design

Los Angeles Unified School District Chief facilities executive: Guy Mehula, P.E. Community representative: Edwin J. Van Ginkel, Senior Development Manager Education specialist: Ellis Kaufman, Director, Small Learning Communities and School Redesign Project architect: John Nichols, AIA, HMC Architects Resource team: Steve Crane, FAIA, REFP, VCBO Architecture, Salt Lake City, UT Amy Yurko, AIA, Brain Spaces, Chicago, IL The New Construction Program designated for the


Los Angeles Unified School District is a multiyear, $12 billion capital improvement program designed

The city of Los Angeles has a population of about

to relieve overcrowding. The district will be over-

3.9 million people; the county population stands

seeing construction of 150 new schools, to be

at about 10 million. School enrollment for all of

completed by 2012. The goal is to return all students

Los Angeles county is about 1.7 million. The county

to a two-semester school calendar. The project that

is governed by the Board of Supervisors. The

the district presented to the institute is construction

Los Angeles Unified School District serves

of South LA High School #3, which is composed

26 municipalities and is governed by the super-

of a series of small learning centers. The school

intendent of schools and the Board of Education.

offers various amenities to benefit the residential Of note is a local nonprofit’s infusion of commercial

community in which it is located.

opportunity for South Los Angeles. Vermont-Slauson

A list of major employers in Los Angeles County includes the following: Employer

Product or Service


Kaiser Permanente

Health care provider


Northrop Grumman Corp.

Aerospace and defense design and manufacturing


Boeing Co.

Aerospace high technology


Kroger Co.

Grocery retailer


University of Southern California

Private university



Grocery retailer


Target Corp.



Bank of America

Banking and financial services


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Economic Development Corporation developed

have been completed and opened, representing

the Vermont-Slauson Shopping Center. It brings

more than 65,000 new classroom seats in 43

quality commercial outlets to an area with few retail

additions. Sixteen playgrounds have also been

offerings. It also offers entry-level retail employment

constructed recently. Last year the district opened

opportunities. This project is a good example of

the first new comprehensive high school built in Los

the type of economic investment needed in South

Angeles since 1971. Currently under construction

Los Angeles.

are 17 new schools and 16 additions. The Los Angeles Unified School District follows Collaborative

The South Los Angeles community and the Los

for High Performance Schools Guidelines. They

Angeles Unified School District have many current

are specific to schools and are the California K–12

and potential entities with which to form joint-use

standards. Beginning in phase II of the current

partnerships. Potential partners in terms of higher

construction program, every new LAUSD school

education, social services, health, the arts, and

built will comply with the guidelines.

recreation include the following:

• • • • • • • • • • • •

City of Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Unified School District has 13,000

City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation

buildings on 5,800 acres, and 712,000 students

and Parks

occupy 72 million square feet of facilities. The

LA’s BEST (Better Educated Students for

graduation rate is 66.5 percent, and 79.8 percent of


students qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch

Orthopaedic Hospital

program. The teachers, administrators, and staff

California State University Northridge

members of the Los Angeles Unified School District

University of Southern California

believe in the equal worth and dignity of all students

Los Angeles Community College District

and are committed to educate all students to their

California Science Center

maximum potential.

City of Angels Little League State of California

Some 858 public K–12 schools in the district offer

National Gardening Association

a range of special programs, including a senior

East LA Classical Theater Company

high academy, magnet centers, a continuation senior high, special education, and community day


schools as well as the 431 traditional elementary schools, 73 middle schools, and 53 senior high schools. In addition, there are 79 charter schools

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s New

and centers. Adding community adult education,

Construction Program is a major multiyear capital

early education, preschools, and occupational

improvement program to relieve overcrowding in

centers puts almost 200 additional facilities under

its schools and return all students to a traditional

the district’s purview.

two-semester calendar. The current program is valued at more than $12 billion and will deliver

Of course, there is also a wide range of special

150 new schools by 2012. To date, 65 new schools

programs to accommodate the diverse population.


AAF Great Schools by Design

Some special programs are for gifted and talented

planned to relieve the severe overcrowding at

students, international visitors, Native Americans

Manual Arts High School. The school design

(Indian Education), and the like, showing the district’s

features three small learning communities with

effort to provide culturally relevant education.

contiguous clusters of learning and satellite administrative offices. The project is to be

The Los Angeles Unified School District is composed

constructed on an 8.1-acre site with approximately

of eight districts, each with its own superintendent.

146,000 square feet of building area, excluding

The overall composition of students is 73.2 percent

the parking garage. The total project budget is

Hispanic, 11.4 percent African American, and 8.8

$90 million. School opening is planned for the

percent white. A steady decline in enrollment is

fall of 2009. Construction documents are 100

anticipated, allowing for a reduction in the number

percent completed for this project.

of three-track schools from 130 in 2004/05 to zero by 2012/13.

Obtaining the 8.1-acre site requires the acquisition and relocation of 101 single and multifamily

South Los Angeles is an economically depressed

residential units and 8 commercial properties

area that is home to numerous overcrowded public

containing 17 businesses. When the institute was

schools. The new school presented for review is

held, 32 residential properties had been purchased

designed to help relieve overcrowding at Manual

or were in escrow through negotiated transactions.

Arts High School, where more than 86 percent of students participate in a free or reduced-price

During the environmental clearance and due

lunch program and more than 37 percent of these

diligence investigations, unexpected soil and

students are English-language learners. Manual

groundwater contaminations were discovered in

Arts High School opened in 1910 and has a current

an area of commercial use at the northernmost

enrollment of more than 4,110 students on a three-

portion of the site. The extent of the contamination

track, year-round calendar. A college prep magnet

on 2 acres of the site precipitated rethinking of

school and a community adult school also operate

the project.

on the campus. Its Academic Performance Index statewide ranking was 1, the lowest possible, in

A second new high school project was planned

both 2004 and 2005. In addition, the school did

to further relieve overcrowding at Manual Arts

not meet its growth target for 2006. The new high

High School. The second project, known as South

school will provide a much-needed resource that

Region High School #10, is defined as a two-

will increase education-related opportunities and

semester, 2,025-seat school, with its opening

provide a recreational area for community use.

planned for the fall of 2011. This project features four small learning communities. The total project


budget for this 75-classroom, 192,663-square-foot high school is $186 million. Site selection for this

The project presented for review, comment, and

project is about to begin.

potential redesign was South LA High School #3, a new 45-classroom, two-semester 1,215-seat school

National School Design Institute


Like many school districts across the country,

be addressed. Key considerations that informed

the Los Angeles Unified School District has

the charrette process included the following:

experienced recent enrollment declines. Current

Time: Delays owing to the new site boundary are

enrollment projections for the area to be served by

inevitable; however, minimizing schedule delays

the two projects indicate that a single two-semester

is a key success indicator.

project with 2,025 seats would largely achieve the

Budget: Construction cost escalation in the area

district’s objective of returning all students in the

is intense, and every year of delay could cost the

area to a neighborhood school on a traditional

district (or reduce the project budget) significantly.

two-semester academic calendar.

Land acquisition: Acquisition of properties on the northern portion of the site is nearly complete,

Because of both the unforeseen environmental

but acquisition of the southern portion of the site

challenges and updated enrollment projections,

could require an additional 18–20 months,

the district is considering the reconfiguration of the

adding significantly to the project schedule.

two projects into a single, 2,025-seat, two-semester

Previous building design: The previous design

project. The contaminated northernmost 2 acres

construction documents were 100 percent

of the South LA High School #3 site would not be

complete. The design is high quality and

acquired, and the site would be expanded south

represents a solid solution for enrollment of the

for a total size of 15.26 acres.

1,215 students on the very tight 8.1-acre site.

Small learning communities: The district has

With construction documents completed for the first

adopted a small learning communities approach

project, the Los Angeles Unified School District

to high school education. This approach has

must now decide if it will salvage these plans and

evolved since the development of the previous

amend them to add an additional 800 seats of

building design, and a redesign of the school

capacity to the 1,215-seat design, or start over with

could be a good opportunity to represent the

a new design for the project.

district’s latest thinking.


Manual Arts High School overcrowding: Manual Arts needs relief from intense overcrowding. Scheduled delays could affect large numbers

“We had the requirements but the benefit of two outside experienced folks added a new

of students.

Neighborhood support: Support of the neighbors

dimension…They brought experience from

in residential areas surrounding the proposed

other parts of the country that we would not

new site is important. Any new design for the

normally get in our standard process—that

school should consider community pride and

added a new dynamic that I know was helpful.”

joint-use opportunities.

—Guy Mehula, Chief Facilities Executive

Community support: The South Los Angeles community needs new schools. Delays could be

The complexity of the problem clearly necessitated

detrimental to community support of the project.

a multidimensional exploration. Achieving a successful solution meant that many factors had to


AAF Great Schools by Design

These considerations are naturally interrelated. To

newly developed site scheme. Each of the site

meaningfully address the issues, the team began

concept schemes studied various ways to enter

by prioritizing the Los Angeles Unified School

the site. The final solution shows the main entrance

District’s concerns and by outlining alternative

at mid-site into a central courtyard.

courses of action. Although a comprehensive solution must include building plans and details,

Another major issue determining the design solution

the preliminary solutions explored were primarily

was the size of the site. Because of the restricted

in terms of site planning. Steps in the process were

site size, the area available for parking was limited.

as follows:

This limitation necessitated underground parking.

1. Explore the reorganization and reuse of

Because the program called for 10 basketball

components of the previously completed building

courts, parking for nearly 200 cars could be

design in order to save time and money.

developed under the courts, as required by the

2. Alternatively, approach the new site and program

facility program.

with an all-new design (i.e., start from scratch). 3. Consider other relevant factors that may influence

The revised education specifications or facility

the resolution of items 1 and 2, including

program requires four small learning communities

schedule and the need to relieve overcrowding

and several multiuse spaces. The multiuse areas

at Manual Arts High School, land acquisition,

include a field house; a second gym; a performing

new district goals for learning environments, site

arts space (located adjacent to the second gym,

access, and traffic patterns.

with a removable wall so both spaces combine into

4. Discuss all site-planning options generated, and

one large hall); dining and food service facilities;

determine the most appropriate direction for

and supporting classrooms. The central plaza

further development.

includes spaces for group study as well as niches and small intimate alcoves for socializing. Outdoor

First, the design team had to consider the land

dining is adjacent to food services. Outdoor

already owned by the district for the school site. In

performance spaces (adjacent to the performing

the design presented by the district, the facility is

arts area) and presentation and collaboration

located on the southern part of the site. By locating

spaces are located next to the small learning

the facility within the existing residential area, the


district hoped to show the neighbors that it has confidence in the area. However, through the

The small learning communities are the central

charrette process, it was determined that locating

component of the facility program. The original

the school’s playfields at the south end of the site

design resolved various community concerns and

would be preferable. In this location, the recreation

was based on many hours of public input. The

area would be more accessible to the community

charrette team incorporated this work with the new

and could thus serve as a neighborhood park.

site scheme. The four small learning communities can be arranged as separate buildings or connected

A variety of diagrams illustrated that the original

with nodes to provide common spaces and vertical

program solutions could be incorporated into the

circulation. The staggered arrangement of the small

National School Design Institute


learning communities further provides shaded work

components form a courtyard that opens to the

areas, direct lab access, and individual identity.

south and faces the neighborhood, with the

The layout also can accommodate different needs

largest building mass (housing the gymnasium

of the communities by adding or subtracting floors

and multipurpose spaces) located near the

(the staggered design could start with a two-story

existing big-box retail.

small learning community and step up to a five-story

Community support: Amenities located at the

site). The final staggered scheme provides ideal

school site will provide benefit to the South Los

solar orientation for the communities, which was

Angeles community. The development delay will

not possible in the original design.

be outweighed by the provision of additional neighborhood amenities.

The scheme chosen as the best solution addressed the key project parameters as summarized below:

• •


Time: An estimated delay of only 10–12 months. Budget: Cost escalation would be minimized by

“Having the Institute present visionary school

phased construction, beginning with the northern

designs exposes a district to new and

portion of the site and avoiding the need for

innovative ideas. The Institute challenged

environmental remediation.

current thinking and forced the participants

Land acquisition: Construction could begin on

to consider solutions that were new.”

the northern portion of the site while acquisition

—Ellis Kaufman

of the southern portion is under way.

Previous building design: It was determined that

The following conclusions reflect the importance

the original design could not be readily adapted

of creating collaborative participation in the design

to address the changes to the site boundaries

process for the district.

and the building program.

Small learning communities: Redesign of the

There is value in getting top-level decision makers

school allows for the inclusion of the district’s

away from the district offices for a couple of days

small schools initiatives, with greater separation

to focus on planning and design issues.

between the small learning communities and

In traditional circumstances, the quality of

increased collaborative opportunities between

participation and ownership of the ideas

students and the staff.

generated at the institute would be unachievable.

Manual Arts High School overcrowding: With

What was accomplished in two days would have

additional enrollment capacity at South LA High

otherwise taken several weeks to develop

School #3, relief from overcrowding can be

because of the need to go through many layers

accomplished, albeit with an estimated delay of

of review and approval. Getting away from their

one school year.

offices allowed district leaders to think more

Neighborhood support: The new site plan

freely in an unrestrained way, adding significant

locates amenities such as the track, basketball

value to the process.

courts, and fields within close proximity to the adjacent residential neighborhood. Building


AAF Great Schools by Design

Support services and small learning communities at High School #3.

National School Design Institute


Feedback from outside design professionals was useful.


The resource team helped the district take a fresh and unencumbered approach to the challenges and opportunities that the new site, with an increased student enrollment, presented. Comments and suggestions forced the district to get beyond its comfort zone. Often, especially in larger districts where design standards and customary approaches exist, architects are stymied by the culture of the client. However, during the outset of a new project, it is desirable to shake things up and introduce new ideas. This approach proved effective in identifying alternative design solutions.


AAF Great Schools by Design

Natrona County School District Superintendent: Jim Lowham, Ed.D. Community representative: Linda Nix, Natrona County School Board Education specialist: Mark Antrim, Associate Superintendent, Facilities and Technology Project facilities planner: Dennis E. Bay, P.E., Facilities Planner and Construction Manager Resource team: Trung Le, AIA, OWP/P Architects, Chicago, IL John Pfluger, AIA, LEED AP, Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A., Minneapolis, MN The Natrona School District was invited to participate

money to carefully consider future school develop-

in the National Institute because it has significant

ment. The Facility Plan approved by the State of

building plans for three new high schools and

Wyoming will invest more than $100 million over a

Wyoming has a particularly high, per student,

five- to seven-year period.

expenditure. In addition, the district provides geographic diversity, adding awareness of school


development issues in the northwestern part of the country.

The population of Natrona County, in southeastern Wyoming, is slightly more than 68,000. With the

The project presented for discussion is a new high

Casper metropolitan area having a population of

school (grades 9–12) for 1,000–1,200 students. The

about 66,500, it is evident that most residents live

main question is whether to build one large facility

within the metropolitan area. The city itself has

at one location or a number of smaller facilities in

about 50,650 residents.

multiple locations. The school district is run by a superintendent and The district is one of two in the state experiencing

an elected school board. Casper has a city manager

growth; other districts have seen a steady decline

form of government with an appointed mayor;

in student enrollment. It is interesting to note that

towns have elected mayors. Elected county

this district is experiencing challenges similar to

commissioners and other elected public officials

those of other districts participating in this institute:

oversee the county government.

specifically, how to increase student engagement. For example, the Los Angeles Unified School

Major employers in Natrona County include the

District, Buffalo, and Natrona County are all

school district, Wyoming Medical Center, govern-

interested in providing better allied arts programs

ment, and the mineral industry. The current growth

to engage students who are less compelled by

boom is due to the extraction industries. Major

traditional academics. Natrona does, however, have

struggles faced in Wyoming and in this area in

the singular advantage of having both time and

National School Design Institute


particular are the continual boom-and-bust cycles,

The instructional staff numbers 850 teachers. Also

mainly associated with the mineral industry.

available are curriculum consultants, vocational therapists, testing personnel, nurses, guidance

The community enjoys a rich array of resources that

counselors, and psychologists, thereby increasing

represent potential partners for the school district,

the number of staff members to 1,900. Parent and

including the county library, parks and recreation

volunteer involvement also contributes to the

areas, social services, the Wyoming Symphony and

strength of the schools. The district is proud of

the Nicolaysen (NIC) Art Museum, the Chamber of

its nationally recognized comprehensive K–12

Commerce, the Casper Area Economic Development

substance abuse prevention program and its

Alliance, and the Wyoming Business Council.

ESL (English as a Second Language) program, designed to meet the needs of students who have


limited English-speaking ability. In addition, summer school, 1:1 computing (each student receives a laptop), co-curricular activities, after-school

The Natrona County School District encompasses

programs, hot lunches, and continuing building

5,340 square miles, including the city of Casper

renovations play important roles in creating

as well as Midwest, Edgerton, Mills, Evansville, Bar

effective school programs.

Nunn, Alcova, Mountain View, and Powder River. Approximately 11,500 students are taught in four

The graduation rate and dropout rate for 2004/05

senior high schools, seven middle or junior high

were 84.68 percent and 25 percent respectively,

schools, and 27 elementary schools. Although

as calculated by the state. Racial composition is

the district has experienced declining enrollment

89 percent white, 6 percent Hispanic, 2 percent

for the past 10 years, 2006 has brought signs of

African American, 2 percent Native American, and

stabilization and slight growth.

1 percent Asian American. Thirty-six percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunches.

Committed to excellence, the educational program is one of the most comprehensive in the state.

No Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

Schools of choice, with emphasis on a variety of

(LEED) projects have been completed in the district,

instructional strategies involving the community,

though staff members have attended LEED training

and site-based decision making have been

and sustainable design conferences and plan to

implemented. The Board of Trustees and the staff

incorporate green principles as budget and creativity

of the Natrona County School District believe that


no one school meets the needs of all children. The best education happens when parents, students,


and school staff members work together as a team toward common goals. Parents may request

The district is planning three major high school

that their child attend a school outside their local

projects for 1,000–1,200 students in the next

attendance area, because all schools have an

five years: a new high school, a renovation or

open enrollment policy.

replacement of Natrona County High School, and


AAF Great Schools by Design

a renovation or replacement of Kelly Walsh High

smaller facilities in one location or multiple locations.

School. All these projects are in the Facility Plan

This determination affects site selection because

approved by the state of Wyoming. The district has

numerous developable sites are available. The

time to carefully consider a range of possibilities

issuance of a design contract by the Wyoming

for future school projects.

School Facilities Commission is imminent.

The district is especially interested in design

Many estimate that the greater Casper area will

concepts that embed the social and technological

reach a population of 100,000 by the 2010 census.

culture that today’s students require to be engaged

The need for the new high school results from a

in learning. Given the concern about student

systemwide grade reconfiguration effort. Currently,

engagement, the district seeks to understand and

grade 9 is in junior high, but the district intends to

incorporate design that better addresses the

transition to grades 9–12 in high schools. The two

interests and needs of the students.

existing schools are over capacity. The addition of grade 9 to those schools drives the need for the

Representatives from the Natrona County School

additional high school.

District have met with dozens of architects and visited many schools in the region. Generally

Wyoming School Facilities Commission guidelines

speaking, they found new schools to be renewed

may require additional resources and set some

versions of models from the 1950s–1970s, whereas

project constraints for the proposed 1,000–1,200

their current commitment is to transform learning

student high school for grades 9–12. Two restrictions

spaces and develop instructional strategies that

are that 32 acres are required for a 1,200-student

better engage all students in a collaborative

high school and 180 square feet are required

learning process.

per student. The latter restriction would require a building of 216,000 square feet.

The proposed project for a new high school is in the predesign phase. The goal is to create a social


and cultural design that can provide learning and technology elements for today’s students. Maximum

“Whether you’re an adolescent or a senior

flexibility is required for reconfiguring spaces

citizen, one should still be growing … we

quickly and efficiently. The design should support

learned how architecture can facilitate that

a collaborative culture, incorporating ideas from

experience and enrich our school facilities”

dialogue with current and past students regarding

—Jim Lowham, Superintendent

educational focus, student engagement, and academic rigor. The mission of educators is to

The Natrona County School District team used the

connect with and prepare all students for success

analogy of a kitchen table to make the point that a

in life, not just in academics.

diverse group of people interacted and conversed on all the education-related topics imaginable.

The major consideration is the scale of the facility:

Some of these topics broadly included analysis

whether to build one large facility or a number of

and reevaluation. The team broke down existing

National School Design Institute


paradigms of learning, created design concepts

interior classrooms, or student and student-teacher

that embrace today’s students, and found new

gathering spaces.

alliances among the group. Most notably, the team—architects, engineers, school administrators,

With the nodes in place, the in-between spaces

and school board members—addressed the task

come alive. These spaces are like connective

at hand of helping the district’s students discover

tissues that weave throughout the various small

their calling and of nurturing that calling through the

learning communities and the classroom areas on

alignment of state-of-the art learning spaces and

the east side of the community space. Learning

educational programs.

occurs best when information is integrated into an individual’s knowledge base; therefore, the

Recognizing that meaningful human interaction

design provides appropriate support structures

plays a fundamental role in cognitive development,

or scaffolding to facilitate the subsequent stage

the team decided to re-envision the traditional

of development, which includes using flexible and

school hallway. Corridors are typically isolating and

adaptable spaces to meet diverse learning styles

do not support interaction, so long hallways were

and ever-changing technology.

left out of the design. As a result, a generous and dynamic community space emerged. Supporting

Through the team’s experience of designing this

current technology needs, such as wireless

dynamic high school, the group learned that its

connections, and incorporating an indoor courtyard

calling was to nurture the seeds inherent in each

provide a variety of informal learning opportunities.

student so he or she could enter the next phase

Just as the team met at the “kitchen table” for this

of life equipped with the tools for success. The

charrette, this central space encourages students

process undertaken by the team produced a story

to engage in their own table talk and collaborate

of collaboration, personal discovery, and inspiration,

on projects, discuss global issues, or just take a

and elucidated the types of indelible impressions

break from a busy day.

that students should take with them as they walk away from their kitchen tables.

Inquiry, investigation, and use of imagination occur when spaces are motivating and appeal to a


variety of senses. Learning should be delightful, not drudgery. To help break up the volume and soften

“It was very beneficial to hear about the efforts

the acoustical implications of this open plan, colorful,

in the other districts…you were right when you

circular nodes are located throughout the community

told us we would see unexpected parallels.”

space. Flexible and adaptable to the diverse range

—Linda Nix

of learning styles, each node is like a small learning community and serves a distinct purpose. The

Despite coming from different backgrounds, the

commons to the north and library to the south

team members celebrated the diversity they

anchor either side of the courtyard. Interspersed

brought to the table. In this spirit of collaboration,

throughout the space are nodes that can serve as

conversations yielded some very interesting and

“rental spaces” for independent student research,

exciting approaches for transforming the traditional


AAF Great Schools by Design

Classrooms and administrative services at the New High School house the central learning nodes of the campus.

National School Design Institute


high school into an interactive and multidimensional space. Through this process, the team learned a number of principles:

Preconceived notions should be left at the front door.

The label on your forehead or the hat you wear can also be left behind.

It’s all about attitude. The right attitude serves as a catalyst for change.

• •

Clean slates are good places to start. Taking time to share personal life experiences matters.

Long walks with new friends can turn into interesting dialogues about the places we experience and how they encourage human interaction.

Inspiration can come from the most remote or unexpected places.

Helping decision makers recognize their calling is just as important as helping students find their calling in life.

Collaboration is a matter of urgency— collaborate or perish.


AAF Great Schools by Design

Pass Christian School District Superintendent: Sue Matheson, Ed.D. Community Representative: Mayor Leo “Chipper” McDermott Educator: Meridith Bang, K–5 Principal Project Architect: Gary Bailey, AIA, JBHM Architects Resource Team: Tom Blurock, FAIA, Thomas Blurock Architects, Costa Mesa, CA Jim LaPosta, Jr., AIA, JCJ Architecture, Hartford, CT AAF has been working with communities along

a symbol of hope for the community, to show that

the Gulf Coast in Mississippi since shortly after

community institutions will be rebuilt.

Hurricane Katrina struck. In February 2006, AAF brought a team of experts to Gulfport, Mississippi,


to discuss rebuilding plans with superintendents and other representatives of 23 counties. At that

The mission of the Pass Christian School District, in

time, AAF established its commitment to continue

partnership with the community, is to provide a safe,

providing school design and planning assistance

positive, and challenging environment of academic

as needed. In June 2006, four superintendents and

excellence in an increasingly technological world.

the executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast

The district offers programs to enrich students and

Education Initiative Consortium came to Washington,

support a culturally diverse environment. The goal

D.C., to meet with a team of experts selected by

is to provide an educational program that will help

AAF to discuss specific school projects that had

students appreciate and value themselves, others,

reached the preliminary planning stage in four

and the world in which they live.

local districts. Since October 2005, all schools and the district AAF invited Pass Christian to participate in this

office have been housed on the Delisle Campus,

institute and thereby continue its commitment by

slightly north of the city limits. Both elementary

providing assistance in Pass Christian’s efforts to

schools use the Delisle Elementary School class-

build a new K–8 school. The new school will

rooms and additional mobile classrooms. Pass

replace an elementary school and a middle school

Christian Middle School and Pass Christian High

destroyed during the hurricane. A preliminary

School are composed entirely of mobile classrooms.

design scheme had been prepared by the district’s

Pass Christian High School students will move

consulting architect. The plan called for the

back to their repaired campus during the current

development of separate academies. The project

school year.

has funding and addresses an immediate need. Importantly, it also provides an opportunity to build

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The total school enrollment stands at about 1,500

A rather poetic description of the community follows.

students, representing about 74 percent of the

Pass Christian was born of the sea and the waters

district’s enrollment before Katrina. There are two

that feed it. Long before the Indians settled, the

elementary schools (grades K–2 and 3–5), one

wind blew and sea tides came and went without

middle school (grades 6–8) and one high school

notice of time or human. Underneath the great live

(grades 9–12). All Pass Christian schools show

oak on Second Street was the meeting place for the

an Adequate Yearly Progress level of 5, which is

Indians who settled here and started to populate

the highest level of accreditation. Students of

the land. They understood the land, the waters,

“The Pass”—as Pass Christian is called by its

and the totality of nature that they depended on.

residents—have exceptionally high achievement

Civilization, in terms of settlement patterns by the

test scores at all grade levels and in all subject

white man, tried to organize the land into lots and

areas. The teacher-student ratio is 13:1; 56 percent

streets to provide order. This order formed the

of teachers have advanced degrees, and 16 percent

11-acre site that will house the younger students

have national board certification.

of Pass Christian and those who teach them.

School enrollment is rather small and distributed

To the west of the site are the cemetery and the

rather evenly: one elementary school with 345

Episcopal church. To the north is the railroad that

students, one with 309; a middle school with 363

divides the community. To the east were a few

students; and a high school with 480 students. In

homes, and to the south is Second Street, one

terms of enrollment, 65 percent of the students

block from the Gulf of Mexico. Today this site holds

are white, 30 percent are African American, and

the debris of Hurricane Katrina—the remains of the

they split about equally between boys and girls.

former high school that had become Pass Christian

Seventy-five percent of students are deemed

Middle School. What are left are slabs of former

economically disadvantaged, qualifying for free

buildings and grand live oaks that withstood

or reduced-price lunch.

hurricane winds. These oaks, together with the history of a proud community, will help define this


site for school development. Pass Christian is a community whose members care for each other

New construction of a 152,000-square-foot K–8

and choose to work together to rebuild their

school on a 14-acre site for 1,000 students will

community. Both rich and poor live and play

replace an elementary school and a middle school

together without notice of the other’s place in life.

destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Initial enrollment is

Although Katrina tore this community to shreds,

expected to be 750–800 students. This school will

it could not destroy its spirit. Residents will fight to

be the middle school for the whole district and the

rebuild not just the buildings but also the soul of

elementary school for the immediate community.

their community.

Before Katrina, the total population of Pass Christian was 6,200; the current population is about 3,000. (It

The new school will house the former Pass Christian

is interesting to note that one-half of the population

Elementary School that serves the core of The

is school age.)

Pass and the middle school that serves the whole


AAF Great Schools by Design

district. The new school offers an opportunity to

The building is meant to be a tool for teaching and

build a learning community that is uniquely child

a place for visionary educators to unleash their

centered. The tight site dictates an urban solution

passion for teaching.

that creates a community of buildings serving both children and adults.

Since the proposed plan is 10,000 square feet over Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The concept and plan presented by the local district

limits, funding can cover construction of only two

team is a learning village, housing six learning

academies. The budget needs to be balanced

pavilions: three for grades K–5 and three for grades

through redesign; a bond issue is not feasible. The

6–8. The two-story buildings incorporate the

dominant challenges highlighted by the district are

character of the area with images of the past. The

defining allowable square footage, given funding

ancillary buildings for administration, the media

constraints and the reality that the proposed plan

center, dining, the gymnasium, and fine arts help

will serve the district for about 10 years; designing

anchor and order the village. The live oaks form a

a facility that will reinvigorate the community

natural, peaceful, park setting at the entrance.

and reflect its historic and cultural identity; and determining a design for the academies that will

Each pavilion and ancillary building houses a center

improve student learning.

for creativity based on the concept of an intelligence community. Every space is designed to provide


a center and a resource for all students to explore their individual learning styles and abilities. The

“The charrette process … proved to be

intelligences are defined as follows:

beneficial to our school district as well as our

• • • • • • • • •

Logical and mathematical

community. The recommendation to include


the boys and girls club, parks, and recreation,


along with a birth-to- 4-year-old day care


center on our new K–8 campus is now


becoming a reality. The architects assigned to


our team helped us to ‘get out of the box’ and


explore exciting new possibilities for rebuilding


our school as well as our community.”


—Dr. Sue Matheson, Superintendent

The varieties of learning styles form the future of

The solution to the budget problem for the new

learning for this community. While respecting the

Pass Christian K–8 school involves two related

past, this framework is meant to help students

approaches: one focuses on the school program,

expand their horizons. In the middle of the village

the other on the community. The school program

is the media center, which provides the core of

was evaluated to identify areas that might be

knowledge. Spaces allow interior and exterior

redundant or oversized. The opportunity provided

experiences and are designed to stimulate learning.

by the massive rebuilding led the team to a

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discussion of the number and type of community

An analysis of the school program and a

resources that need to be replaced as well as the

comparison with the needed community facilities

funding sources for those facilities. Key to this

led to some obvious connections. The proposed

discussion were the participants of the team. Both

K–8 school plan housed a large combination

the mayor of Pass Christian and the superintendent

gymnasium and performance space. This plan

of schools were present, thus allowing for a true

clearly requires a significant expenditure of funds

dialogue about the options rather than a one-sided

for a space that would not function optimally for

set of speculations. The team quickly agreed on

either use. The Boys & Girls Club recently received

two project objectives:

a large grant from the government of Qatar and

Build a new 1,000-student K–8 school on the old

is planning to replace its destroyed facility on the

high school site and resolve the budget issues

site of a former school. However, that site is below

through a combination of program efficiency and

the flood elevation. Combining the Boys & Girls

leveraging of other community resources.

Club with the new school could provide the facility

Combine other community facilities on the site.

with a double gymnasium and allow the club

• • • •

Create a community facility with critical mass.

to redirect money from site development to the

Provide a symbol of rebirth.

building. The proximity and availability of the

Share funding and facilities.

school kitchen, cafeteria, and classroom space

Free other land for expansion of civic facilities.

might allow the club to offer additional programs.

In reviewing the many needs of the community

The town library was also heavily damaged in the

following Katrina, the team realized that one com-

storm and requires complete restoration. Before the

modity in short supply was developable land above

storm, the library was co-located with the town hall,

the newly proposed flood elevation. Remapping

a situation that led to crowded conditions in both

by FEMA has placed much of the southern portion

facilities. Moving the town library to the K–8 school

of The Pass below flood elevation and made its use

site provides the town hall with additional space and

for public buildings problematic and expensive.

reduces the need to spend school construction

The school site is an exception and is one of the

funds on a school library. Collateral benefits result

few areas of high ground in the immediate vicinity.

through increased opportunities for intergenerational

An inventory of all community facilities that need to be replaced is as follows: Facility

Type of Work

Funding Source




City hall



Public library



Police department

Replace and relocate


Fire department

Replace and relocate


Recreation department



Boys & Girls Club


$5.5 million Qatar grant

Early childhood center




AAF Great Schools by Design

learning and greater convenience for after-school

proposes modifying the design presented by the

library programs.

district’s architect by adding civic functions with student accessibility. The recommended plan now

The other program recommended for the school

calls for the Boys & Girls Club to be located on the

site was a new early childhood center funded by

northern portion of the site, replacing the previously

the Chevron Corporation. The company had

proposed school gymnasium. The town library

approached several coastal communities with an

occupies the southwestern corner of the site, a

offer to construct new facilities if the town provided

location that allows a civic face and separate

the site. The benefits of co-location with the K–8

parking while providing direct access for students

school seemed obvious, creating a campus that

from the school’s central courtyard. The courtyard

could now serve children from nursery through

itself was redesigned, eliminating the library

grade 8, along with a senior population.

structure from the center and making it into a civic

The design solution recommended by the team

open space with access from the street through

Pass Christian Community Campus Plan.

National School Design Institute


a ceremonial arch. The design also created a

and the Boys & Girls Club operate during

performance space by redesigning the cafeteria-

different times, making joint use feasible.

auditorium at the north end. The early childhood

Look to provide advantages to all participants

center was proposed for the southeastern corner

in a joint-use project. The Boys & Girls Club

of the property, a location that placed it near the

provides a gym for the school, while the school

main administrative office and convenient to a

offers access to a performance space and

private drop-off area. Last, the classroom clusters

kitchen and dining facilities. Moving the library to

were redesigned to provide a more flexible

the school site relieved space at the town hall.

arrangement for learning. Designed as a core and

School level:

shell, the proposed learning areas are modeled in

Develop a program that looks at combined uses,

large part after commercial construction, with fixed

where appropriate. Each activity in a school

vertical circulation and wet areas (laboratories,

does not necessarily need its own space.

art rooms) and easily reconfigured partitions that

Consider outdoor space as another room in the

can create a variety of classrooms or project-based

school; design it to be usable as a gathering or


performance space.


Consider developing learning space like office space. Build the core and shell and allow the tenants to fit it out as needed.

The Pass Christian team developed a set of planning, education and design principles for the community and the school that can support and fund revitalization efforts. Community level:

Engage all decision makers in the solution. Having the mayor and superintendent of schools at the table was critical to the outcome.

Spend time planning. Good solutions are the result of a proper amount of time spent with the right people at the table.

Look for opportunities for the school and the community to share facilities.

Look for funding from a variety of sources. The proposed development plan involved monies from FEMA, a grant from overseas, and corporate philanthropy.

Evaluate the operating hours and program needs of civic facilities. For example, the school


AAF Great Schools by Design

Biographies of Public Officials and Local Representatives Mark Antrim Associate Superintendent, Facilities & Technology, Natrona County School District Casper, WY Mark Antrim has been the associate superintendent for facilities and technology for the Natrona County School District in Casper, Wyoming, since July 2004 and is responsible for leading the district’s Facilities Committee Commission in developing the Facilities Plan. He has served this district during his entire professional career, beginning in 1980. He has worked as a vocational special education teacher, a technology teacher on special assignment, a district technology coordinator, a director of information technology, and an executive director of business services. He holds a master’s degree in technology in education from Lesley University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Wyoming. Antrim, honored as an Apple Distinguished Educator, assisted the district in launching the first Wyoming 1:1 computing pilot at the newly constructed Frontier Middle School. The pilot is focused on transforming teaching to use digital resources in a democratic, relevant environment. Antrim is enthusiastic and positive about the transformation of the district that has been realized through implementing the Compact of Trust and InterestBased Agreement Process. As a trainer and facilitator of the Interest-Based Agreement Process, he believes in the power of shared governance (students, parents, community, business, and employees) to generate thoughtful, quality decisions to complex questions and issues.

Gary Bailey, AIA Principal, JBHM Architects Tupelo, MS Gary Bailey brings to JBHM more than 20 years of experience in architecture and project management. He has served as the key design professional for more than $300 million in major education design projects throughout the Southeast in the past five years. His work has earned AIA (Mississippi Chapter) Honor Awards for Design and the TVA First Place Energy Design

National School Design Institute

Award. In recognition of his expertise, Bailey has been asked to teach a class in principles of education design in the Department of Education Leadership at Mississippi State University and serve as a guest speaker at the Mississippi State School of Architecture and for government agencies. Bailey is also president of JBHM Education Group.

Meridith Bang K–5 Principal, Pass Christian School District Pass Christian, MS Meridith Bang, a licensed career-level administrator, is an elementary principal in the highly acclaimed school district of Pass Christian, Mississippi. Bang considers herself fortunate to be surrounded by educators who share her desire to focus on the “how,” rather than the “can we” in the question, “How can we most effectively help all children succeed?” Bang has served on numerous committees throughout her 10 years in the education field. She was appointed co-chair of the Parent/Community Relations section for the district’s 10-Year Vision Plan in 2003 and was delegated chair of the 2004 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation visit to a neighboring school district. In addition, she coordinated and led a team of teachers in writing a Reading Excellence grant proposal in 1999, which resulted in a financial award of more than $500,000 to develop, share, and implement a plethora of researchbased literacy instructional procedures and programs within the lower elementary grades.

Dennis E. Bay, P.E. Facilities Planner and Construction Manager, Natrona County School District Casper, WY Dennis Bay, a registered professional structural engineer, has spent 26 years as a consulting engineer, business owner, and design partner working with architects, owners, contractors, municipalities, state and federal government, and schools and universities to design industrial, commercial, educational, and residential structures and buildings. During the past three and a half years, Bay has been responsible for managing an aggressively growing K–12 public school building and


construction program for the Natrona County School District. Bay has also contributed significantly to the development of the district’s comprehensive 5- to 10year facility plans, which include replacement or major renovation of 20 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 5 high schools. Bay will oversee approximately $300 million of new public school facility building projects in Natrona County over the next 10 years.

Donna Brown Director, Community Outreach, LP Ciminelli, Inc. Buffalo, NY Donna Brown is director of community outreach for LP Ciminelli, Inc., one of the largest construction companies in upstate New York, and program manager for the Buffalo Public Schools Renovation Program. Brown is responsible for developing links through the cultivation of strategic relationships with business and community leaders throughout the city in an ongoing effort to enhance and create public awareness and support for the Buffalo Public Schools Renovation Program and the various LP Ciminelli, Inc. community initiatives. With the support of LP Ciminelli, Inc., she is also the host of the monthly public access show, Making It Happen, a news update program dedicated to keeping the community informed on the historic and largest capital investment project for the city of Buffalo and its public school district. Brown currently serves on the Advisory Board of Directors of Project Flight, an organization whose mission is to eradicate illiteracy by keeping books in the hands of young readers, in an effort to decrease and eventually close the poverty gap. She is also the recipient of the Buffalo Alliance for Education 2005 Pathfinders Award for her commitment and management of mentorship programs through LP Ciminelli, Inc., and Buffalo Public Schools.

Roy L. Denney, Jr., AIA CEO, Southern A&E, LLC Austell, GA In 1970, Roy Denney founded his own design practice, Denney Associates, with a major emphasis on residential architecture. During the next decade, Denney expanded his expertise to include commercial, institutional, and educational facilities. In 1983, Denney Associates merged with Southern Engineering Company, and Denney became vice president of architecture and engineering.


Under his leadership, Southern’s architecture and engineering department grew to include civil, architectural, structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, interior, landscape architecture, and food service design professionals. In 1992, Denney became senior vice president of architecture and engineering, with overall responsibility for client relations and business development. Eight years ago, Denney joined other employees of Southern Engineering’s architecture and engineering department in purchasing the practice to establish Southern A&E, LLC. Currently, he serves as chief executive officer. His primary responsibilities continue to be client relations and business development. As a lifelong resident of Carroll County, Denney represented community interests at the institute.

Amber Monica Dixon Executive Director for Project Initiatives, Buffalo Public Schools Buffalo, NY Amber Monica Dixon is the executive director for project initiatives for the Buffalo Public Schools. The scope of this position encompasses reforming high schools, implementing middle school intervention programs, broadening access to gifted programs, and expanding access to advanced placement and honors classes in district schools. These efforts are designed to assist Superintendent James A. Williams, Ed.D., in reaching the district’s goal of improving student achievement and ensuring that all Buffalo students receive a high school diploma and the skills necessary to be successful. Dixon came to Buffalo Public Schools in 1991, after spending the early years of her career in private industry. She moved from teaching mathematics to monitoring district compliance with the No Child Left Behind legislation. Dixon was a presenter at the national conferences of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics in 2004 and 2005 and at the National Staff Development Council in 2005.

David Goldberg Facilities Development Officer, Carroll County Schools Carrollton, GA David Goldberg’s 15 years of experience in education and practical experience as a construction field engineer have positioned him well for his current position of facilities development officer for the Carroll County

AAF Great Schools by Design

school system. Two years as a kindergarten teacher and five years as a grade 2 teacher provided Goldberg with the opportunity to understand the curricula and challenges facing today’s teachers. In addition, four years as assistant principal at Bay Springs Middle School gave him the chance to understand the dynamics of middle school education. The past two years as principal of Ithica Elementary School offered him insight and leadership experience. Goldberg holds a bachelor’s degree in business management, a K–8 teaching certification, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of West Georgia.

Donald E Gray, AIA Wendel Duchscherer Amherst, NY Donald Gray is a licensed architect with more than 26 years of experience in multidisciplinary facility projects for educational institutions. His primary focus is the K–12 sector. Most recently, Gray managed initiatives for several city and town school districts in western New York. He led two projects for the Rochester City School District that received prestigious architectural awards. As a project architect, Gray has a diverse portfolio. He has managed renovations and expansions of existing campus buildings and designed new facilities for classrooms, administrative offices, libraries, athletic stadiums, and bus garages. He believes that project success comes from a balanced combination of attention to detail and keeping the big picture clearly in focus. He is a longstanding, active member of the American Institute of Architects and serves on the New York State Department of Transportation Safety and Security Committee, where he led development of the facilities portion of the transit security best practices.

Ellis Kaufman Director, Small Learning Communities and School Redesign Facilities Services Division, Los Angeles Unified School District Los Angeles, CA As the director of small learning communities and school redesign within the facilities services division of the Los Angeles Unified School District, Ellis Kaufman guides the implementation of small learning communities in the construction of more than 50 new middle, span, and

National School Design Institute

high schools in the nation’s second largest school district. In addition, he oversees the $188 million upgrade and redesign of another 50 existing high schools that are required by the Board of Education to transition to small learning communities within the next few years. He has designed and managed a communicationstechnology magnet school and has supervised instruction and operations at a number of comprehensive high schools. He coordinated the gifted and talented program for more than 10,000 K–12 students and guided the implementation of periodic assessments and performance assignments in 88 schools. During the past few years, Kaufman has made presentations regarding the power and implementation of small learning communities to the American Institute of Architects, the University of Southern California School of Architecture, and the Council of Educational Facilities Planners International.

Jim Lowham Ed.D. Superintendent, Natrona County School District Casper, WY Jim Lowham has been the superintendent of schools for the 11,500-student Natrona County School District in Casper, Wyoming, since July 2002; however, he has served the district during his entire professional career, beginning in 1972. Over the past 30 years, he has worked as a teacher and school administrator, while maintaining a career as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army and the Wyoming Army National Guard. He is the current chairman of the Wyoming School University Partnership, which is associated with the National Network for Educational Renewal. In 2005, Lowham was appointed a member of the Wyoming State Board of Education. This experience continues to broaden his perspective on the connections between schools, parents, children, and policy makers. He earned his baccalaureate and master’s degrees from the University of Wyoming and his doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado.

Sue Matheson, Ed.D. Superintendent, Pass Christian School District Pass Christian, MS Sue Matheson began her career in education many years ago as an elementary school teacher. She has been an assistant principal, principal, and assistant


superintendent. In 2002, she was appointed superintendent of the Pass Christian School District. As a University of Southern Mississippi adjunct professor, Matheson has taught graduate and undergraduate courses since 1991. Matheson serves on the board of directors for the Gulf Coast Education Initiative Consortium and is an advisory committee member in educational leadership at the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, she serves on the state’s Education Task Force, working to improve the quality of education in Mississippi. Recently, Matheson was asked to serve as an adviser to the state superintendent.

Stephen McCune, AIA Vice President, Southern A&E, LLC Carrollton, GA As vice president of architecture with Southern A&E, LLC, Stephen McCune brings more than 21 years experience as an architect designing various building types and specializing in K–12 education facility design. McCune has helped build an employee-owned business providing unsurpassed customer service and excellent value for clients’ investments in facilities. He received his bachelor’s of architecture degree from Auburn University in 1985, is a registered architect in the state of Georgia, and holds a certificate with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects at the national, state, and chapter levels. He has served as a member of the management team of the AIA, Georgia Association, for the past five years in the roles of treasurer and vice president of advocacy and government affairs.

Leo “Chipper” McDermott Mayor, Pass Christian Pass Christian, MS Leo McDermott is a graduate of Pass Christian High School and the University of Southern Mississippi. He served nine years on the Board of Aldermen and as mayor pro tem for five years. He has 30 years of experience in finance and management. In August 2006, he was elected mayor of Pass Christian. He helped to combine loans and grants to build a state-of-the-art Boys & Girls Club and senior citizen facility on Clark Street. In addition, he was active in pursuing the development and expansion of the harbor in Pass Christian and has helped secure grants for rebuilding the


city. He is passionate about his city and is determined to promote smart growth after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Guy Mehula, P.E. Chief Facilities Executive, Los Angeles Unified School District Los Angeles, CA As the chief facilities executive for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Guy Mehula oversees facilities operations for more than 800 schools in the second largest school district in the country. He also heads an aggressive new school construction program with the primary goal of providing a neighborhood school seat for every student in the district on a traditional, twosemester school calendar. The $19.2 billion Los Angeles Unified School District New Construction and Modernization Program is the largest school construction program in the nation’s history. Before joining the Los Angeles Unified School District, Mehula served as the chief operating officer for Network Designs, Inc., giving him excellent insight into public sector contracting from a private sector viewpoint. He has more than 25 years of experience in construction in the U.S. Navy. As a captain in the Civil Engineer Corps, Mehula commanded the 30th Naval Construction Regiment, which is responsible for the operation of naval construction units throughout the Pacific and is known as the Seabees. Mehula is a native of Waukegan, Illinois, and holds a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Florida.

John Nichols, AIA Principal, HMC Architects Education Market Leader Ontario, CA Since joining HMC Architects in 1980, John Nichols has been essential in positioning HMC as the largest education design firm headquartered in California. Nichols focuses on efficient, sustainable, and instructionally responsive design. Through strategic master planning and programming, and by involving the full range of site acquisition, entitlement, funding, and project delivery alternatives, he assists clients in their entire facilities development programs. Nichols also established HMC’s Northern California offices in

AAF Great Schools by Design

Sacramento and San Jose, strengthening relationships with state agencies for education funding and approval.

Linda Nix Vice Chair, Natrona County School Board Casper, WY Linda Nix was elected to the board of Natrona County School District #1 in 2004 and has been vice chair for the past year. She previously served eight years on the board of Casper College and was a founding member of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services. In 2004, she was appointed by the governor to serve on the State Advisory Council on Innovative Education, an entity that reviews and awards grants for groundbreaking public education programs in Wyoming. Nix earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, a law degree from the University of Connecticut, and a master’s degree in public policy from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Although her career at first focused on health law and policy, it shifted to a broader focus in the late 1980s when she co-directed the Wyoming Futures Project, a joint public-private statewide planning venture. Since then, she and her partner, Patricia Nagel, have operated a consulting business, working with small businesses and nonprofits to plan for the future and to work more effectively in groups. In addition to her work as a consultant, Nix is also a mixed-media artist and has sold her work in five states.

Edwin J. Van Ginkel Senior Development Manager Facilities Services Division, Los Angeles Unified School District Los Angeles, CA Edwin Van Ginkel is the senior development manager of the Los Angeles Unified School District New Construction Program. In this capacity, Van Ginkel is responsible for the activities of regional development managers and development team managers who manage all preconstruction planning activities for more than 75 new school projects. For more than 20 years, Van Ginkel has provided strategic advisory services to clients in a variety of industries ranging from multinational organizations to public agencies. Before 2002, he was a real estate consulting partner in the Los Angeles office of Andersen LLP, where he managed multidisciplinary strategy and

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implementation teams on numerous real estate and development client engagements. He was also a member of the executive leadership team of Andersen’s worldwide real estate and development consulting practices, focused on Global 1000 companies and government institutions.

James A. Williams, Ed.D. Superintendent, Buffalo Public Schools Buffalo, NY James Williams has had a long and distinguished career in public education. With more than 35 years of experience, he is a teacher, counselor, administrator, lecturer, and author. Williams began his teaching career in Washington, D.C., with the District of Columbia Public Schools. He received his master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of the District of Columbia and his doctorate in education in administration and curriculum from George Washington University. After serving in a variety of administrative positions for D.C. public schools, he joined Dayton Public Schools in Ohio as assistant superintendent for intermediate and secondary instruction. There he rose to become the deputy superintendent and superintendent of schools. Williams also served as chief academic officer for Community Education Partners, an education company that works in partnership with public schools and the community to get disruptive and low-performing students back on track. He has received many awards and honors: Richard R. Green Award, Urban Educator of the Year, awarded by the Council of the Great City Schools; Presidential Citation, Distinguished Alumni Award, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education; Danforth Fellow; Peter F. Drucker Foundation, Frances Hesselbein Community Innovation Fellow; and Omega Psi Phi, Citizen of the Year (named twice).

John F. Zauner Superintendent, Carroll County Schools Carrollton, GA John F. Zauner, a Coweta County native, decided early on that he wanted to be a lawyer. He entered Jacksonville State University as a prelaw student. Something happened about midway through his studies that changed his plans. Zauner was doing some volunteer work with mentally retarded students in recreational


therapy. He was assigned an autistic child. Zauner, a pianist and musician, saw a remarkable thing happen when he started playing the piano during his sessions. The boy would come out of his mental seclusion while the music was playing. The whole process changed John’s goals and ambitions. He switched his major to education—more specifically, to special education— with an emphasis on behavior disorders. After seven years of teaching and coaching, Zauner underwent the intensive training to become a Secret Service agent with the U.S. Treasury Department. Zauner credits this period in his life as one of great importance. He then returned to Newnan and teaching. During the next decade, he would become both an assistant principal and a principal. In 1999, Zauner became the director of special education for the Carroll County school system. A year later he became the assistant superintendent for curriculum instruction and student achievement. In April 2003, Zauner was selected by the Board of Education to become the interim superintendent and soon thereafter was appointed superintendent.


AAF Great Schools by Design

Resource Team Biographies Thomas H. Blurock, FAIA IBI Group Costa Mesa, CA Thomas H. Blurock, FAIA, has built a practice dedicated to the creation of better urban schools. During his firm’s 20-year history, nearly 200 school projects have been completed, most for inner city school districts with constrained budgets, poor socioeconomic conditions, grave security issues, and highly politicized decision making. Building on Blurock’s expertise in public finance, educational programming, urban economics, and school security, his firm has been able to expand its services beyond those of a standard architectural practice to offer an integrated approach to educational architecture. Blurock is also a leader of the Committee on Architecture for Education, a national AIA knowledge community. As part of his urban school practice, Blurock has become an authority on school security, advocating and elaborating passive solutions. He was a featured speaker at an important national convention on school security (“Learning from Columbine,” Denver 1999), and he has been widely interviewed, including an appearance on NBC’s Nightly News as a spokesman for AIA on this critical topic. He wrote the article “School Security: Designing Safe Learning Environments” in the new compendium Building Security by Barbara Nadel, FAIA. Blurock earned his master’s degree in architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and a bachelor of science degree in environmental design from the University of Washington.

Patricia Bosch, LEED AP Director, Perkins + Will Miami, FL With more than 21 years of experience in the field of architecture, Pat Bosch serves as design director for the Miami office of the internationally renowned firm of Perkins + Will. During her career, she has been involved in planning and the design of learning environments, civic and public buildings, corporate headquarters, mixed-use facilities, libraries, and research buildings, as well as higher education facilities across the nation

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and throughout the world. As an educator she has participated in the exploration of emerging building typologies and their evolution, given modern urban needs and challenges. Known for her collaborative skills, Bosch was appointed co-chair of the firm’s excellence in design initiative and routinely brings diverse constituencies together to generate ideas and find common ground. Her awardwinning work includes such project successes as the Miami Beach Multiuse City Hall Annex, the Caribbean Technology Center, the University of Florida Research Building (IDRB Research Lab), the Miami Dade School of Aviation, the University of Miami School of Communication, and the expansion and renovation of the historic Victor Hotel in South Beach. Bosch also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami and Florida International University.

Steve Crane, FAIA, REFP VCBO Architecture Salt Lake City, UT Steve Crane, FAIA, REFP, has provided professional architectural design and planning services for nearly three decades. Crane holds a master of architecture degree from the University of Utah, where as an assistant adjunct professor he has taught design and architectural professional practice for 11 years. He is a member and past chairman of the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education and is a member of the Council of Educational Facilities Planners International (CEFPI). Crane is a past president, president elect, and secretary of the Salt Lake Chapter of the AIA. A partner at VCBO Architecture, Crane leads the firm’s work on educational architecture, which has garnered numerous national, regional, and local awards, including the prestigious James D. MacConnell Award. He has written articles for numerous national magazines. He was asked by the White House to represent the AIA on CNN Live and has been quoted in Newsweek magazine. Project experience includes the design of more than 11 million square feet of educational facilities. Recent


projects include Nibley Park Elementary School (Salt Lake City, Utah); Star Valley High School (Afton, Wyoming); Timberline Middle School (Alpine, Utah); Foothills High School (Yuma, Arizona); and the AIA Honor Award– winning new Salt Lake City Public Library. Crane has shaped the lives of many people in his nearly 30 years of architectural practice.

James E. LaPosta, Jr., AIA CEO and Director of Design, JCJ Architecture Hartford, CT Jim LaPosta is chief executive officer and director of design of JCJ Architecture, a 180-person architectural, planning, interiors, and graphic design studio. He serves as design principal for many of the firm’s pre-K–12 and college and university commissions, with a focus on themed learning environments, urban school district capital planning, environments for the visual and performing arts, and early childhood education. JCJ was recently featured in Architectural Record as one of the largest architect-led design firms in the publication’s annual ranking. Whether they juxtapose contemporary new architecture with renovated existing space, create bold new construction, or sensitively rework a community landmark, buildings designed by LaPosta are characterized by their conscious optimism, ability to delight, disciplined siting, environmental responsiveness, and clarity of educational purpose. JCJ’s Education Facilities Design Group has received more than 45 major awards for design excellence over the past eight years. LaPosta has been an adviser for the Boston Architectural Center, the University of Massachusetts School of Fine Arts, and Yale University’s School of Architecture, as well as a popular design award juror and symposia participant. He holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering and a master of architecture, both from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and has been a practicing architect since 1986.

Trung Le, AIA OWP/P Architects Chicago, IL Trung Le, AIA, is the design director for OWP/P’s education group. Dedicated to designing innovative educational spaces that encourage student inquiry and imagination, Le believes there is a direct connection


between the idea of experience and the idea of place. It is in the focus on this experience of learning where architecture can make the most impact on the life of a child in a school environment. Le creates spaces that promote casual interaction and dialogue, where the exchange of knowledge and ideas offers students a sense of what it means to be a part of a democratic community. This design philosophy has yielded awards from the AIA Chicago and AIA Illinois in Le’s 16 years at OWP/P. His projects have also been published in Architectural Record, Contract Design, and Edutopia. A member of the Council of Educational Facilities Planners, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the AIA, Le has also actively participated in the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education and the Design Committee. He earned a bachelor of architecture and a master of architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Philip S. Lewis, AIA, LEED AP Senior Associate, HMFH Architects, Inc. Cambridge, MA With more than 20 years of experience at HMFH, Philip (“Pip”) Lewis has been involved in many new construction and renovation projects, as well as master planning and feasibility studies for a variety of public and independent clients. As a project manager, he maintains close client relationships and oversees the HMFH project team, design, schedule, and budgets. HMFH, with Lewis as project manager, designed three new schools for Brockton, Massachusetts. Two new pre-K–6 elementary schools will house 850 students each, and a new 40classroom junior high school has a gymnasium and 900seat auditorium. The East Fairhaven Elementary School replaces an aging building with a new, energy-efficient pre-K–5 school. Lewis’s recently completed preschool for Wellesley, Massachusetts, modified standard modular building systems to provide an attractive and inviting early learning environment in a fast-track timeframe. Prior work includes management of the award-winning Media and Technology Charter High School, an adaptive reuse project that converted a historic auto dealership into an innovative media- and technology-driven high school. In 2005, Lewis completed the Neighborhood House Charter School, another adaptive reuse project that transformed a former nursing home into a K–8

AAF Great Schools by Design

school and community center. His West Somerville Neighborhood School was the winner of the AASA/AIA 1997 Shirley Cooper Award.

John G. Pfluger, AIA, LEED AP Principal, Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A. Minneapolis, MN John Pfluger is a principal and design leader for Cuningham Group’s Education Studio. He has also taken the lead role, as its creative director, in setting the firm’s overall design direction, which has a national reputation for design excellence in a number of project types. He has been with the firm for 18 years. Achieving creative, sustainable results through an inclusive, collaborative process that is based on the client’s mission and vision is his personal goal. Pfluger’s reputation as a designer has brought him national recognition in school design, including the Walter Taylor Award (AASA/CEFPI/AIA) and the James D. MacConnell Award (CEFPI) for the WMEP Interdistrict Downtown School (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and the Shirley Cooper Award (AASA/CEFPI/AIA) for Oak Point Intermediate School (Eden Prairie, Minnesota). In recognition of his talents and expertise as a designer of innovative educational environments, Pfluger has been called on to speak at numerous regional and national conferences, including CEFPI’s Annual International Conference, the KnowledgeWorks Foundation Annual Conference, the California Network of Educational Charters Annual Conference, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) Annual Conference, the Minnesota Association of School Administrators, and the Ohio Builds Conference.

Anne Schopf, AIA Mahlum Seattle, WA An award-winning architect with more than 19 years of experience, Anne Schopf is widely recognized for her leadership in the field of design. Schopf’s work highlights the inextricable links that bind our lives and our buildings to the environment, enhancing the discourse on sustainable design in the Pacific Northwest and the nation. Her work with educational environments has been nationally recognized with two consecutive Top 10 Green Project Awards from the AIA Committee on the Environment, and three of her projects have been finalists for the CEFPI James D. McConnell Award of

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Excellence. In addition, her work has received 15 AIA and International Interior Design Association design awards at the local, regional, and national level. Light, air, seasonal change, and the weathering of time play integral roles in her dialogue between built and natural environments. A partner and director of design with Mahlum Architects, Schopf is also a periodic adjunct faculty member at the University of Washington School of Architecture and a frequent speaker on sustainable design at regional and national conferences. She serves as the director of the built environment on the AIA Seattle Board of Directors. She is also serving as an Advisory Group member for the AIA National Committee on Design and a peer reviewer for the Design Excellence program run by the General Services Administration. Schopf graduated with honors from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with degrees in architecture and civil engineering.

John M. Weekes, AIA Dull Olson Weekes Architects Portland, OR John Weekes is founding principal of the Portland, Oregon, firm of Dull Olson Weekes Architects, Inc. (DOWA). Before forming DOWA, he was with Skidmore Owings & Merrill. DOWA has received national recognition in educational planning and architecture and numerous local, national, and international design awards. Weekes studied at the University of Copenhagen and graduated from Washington State University, where he received the AIA’s Gold Medal for Educational Excellence. He is currently a member of the AIA’s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) and has been a featured lecturer at the University of Oregon’s College of Education and at Lewis and Clark College’s Graduate School of Education. A planner and designer for the AIA/CAE Honor Award– winning Alpha High School, Weekes was principal designer for the recently completed Canby Applied Technology Center, a project that received national honors from CEFPI, AASA, and the National School Boards Association. His other projects have been honored by AIA/Portland, the International Interior Design Association, the National School Boards Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the Council of Educational Facility


Planners International, and the Governor of Oregon’s Livability Program. Weekes is currently completing the New Columbia Community Campus, the largest revitalization project in Oregon history. The Community Campus is a public-private partnership that includes a K–6 school and family resource center (Rosa Parks), a Boys & Girl’s Club, and a community center in New Columbia.

Amy Yurko, AIA BrainSpaces Chicago, IL Amy Yurko, AIA is an architect, writer, speaker, jurist, and educator. Over her 20-year career, she has been involved in the planning, management, and design of learning environments across the nation and throughout the world—from needs assessments, educational specifications, and facility programming to generating and developing conceptual facility designs and coordinating project development with both clients and architectural firms. Through her consulting firm, BrainSpaces, Yurko is dedicated to facilitating connections between education and architecture by promoting brain-based considerations in the planning and design of learning environments. Yurko is currently chair of the curriculum design subcommittee for National American Institute of Architects Continuing Education, charged with redefining the learning framework for architects across the country. She has served the AIA on both state and national levels and is known for her straightforward style, no-nonsense approach, and keen talent for bringing people and ideas together in new ways to promote dynamic collaborations that produce compelling results. Through her teaching positions at Harvard University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the University of Southern California Schools of Architecture, Yurko has developed an understanding of the challenges in education today and how they can be addressed through thoughtful and innovative architecture.


AAF Great Schools by Design

Organizing Committee Biographies Ronald E. Bogle President and CEO American Architectural Foundation Washington, DC In 2002, Ron Bogle was named the seventh president and chief executive officer of the American Architectural Foundation (AAF). With the appointment, Bogle brought to the position a career-long commitment to public service and his lifelong passion for community development, civic engagement, education, art, and architecture. Under his leadership, AAF has significantly expanded its program scope and impact. At AAF, Bogle’s efforts are squarely focused on creating and sustaining programs to identify and advance best practices for the design of liveable communities across the country. He also created and leads Great Schools by Design, a national AAF program that provides resources to local community and educational leaders engaged in K–12 school facility design and construction. In addition, he is the managing partner of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a renowned program co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and AAF that provides innovative resources about city planning and design to mayors across the country. Bogle’s professional experience includes senior leadership appointments in higher education, business, and nonprofit fields. A native of Oklahoma City, he served nine years on the Oklahoma City Board of Education and several years as the board’s president. While in Oklahoma, he led two major initiatives, resulting in more than $1 billion in public-funded support, to transform the commercial and cultural viability of the city’s urban center by replacing or restoring a wide range of civic and educational facilities.

Deane M. Evans, FAIA (guest speaker) Center for Architecture and Building Science Research New Jersey Institute of Technology Deane Evans currently directs the Center for Architecture and Building Science Research at the New

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Jersey Institute of Technology. He has more than 25 years of experience—in both the private and public sectors—in architectural design, construction technology, and building performance. His current area of concentration is high-performance, sustainable buildings, particularly housing and schools. Evans wrote the High Performance School Buildings Resource and Strategy Guide, a set of guidelines for school superintendents and other key decision makers that describes what high performance schools are; why they are valuable to students, teachers, and parents; and how they can be cost-effectively procured. He is also the host of a four-part, online multimedia lecture series based on the guide. Evans was the curriculum content coordinator for a 25-module, online training course for architects on designing high-performance schools. He also established the New Jersey High Performance Schools Information Center in cooperation with the New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation, and he recently launched the Daylighting in Schools Online Training Program, developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Rebuild America program. Evans is a fellow of the AIA and currently serves as the vice chair of the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council. He has a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia.

Robert Ivy, FAIA Editor and Chief, Architectural Record VP & Editorial Director, McGraw-Hill Construction Media New York, NY In 1996, Robert Ivy took on the full-time editorial leadership of Architectural Record. Ivy is a frequent speaker and awards jury chairman. He has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches, appeared on national television, and conducted interviews with leading figures in the architectural world, including the Aga Khan and AIA Gold Medalists and Pritzker Prize winners. He has also moderated panels at the World Trade Center Conference at the Library of Congress, the National Building Museum, New York’s Rockefeller Center, the American


Institute of Architects’ national conference, New York’s Guggenheim Museum, Chicago’s Art Institute, the 92nd St. “Y”, and California’s Monterey Design Conference. In 2002 and 2004, Ivy served as the commissioner of the United States Pavilion at the Venice Biennale for Architecture, with Architectural Record as curator of the 2004 event. In his role as editorial director of McGraw-Hill’s Construction Publications, Ivy oversees the editorial quality of 15 publications, in print and in digital form, including Architectural Record’s entrance into China. He came to McGraw-Hill from a dual career: previously he had been a principal in a successful architectural practice and a critic for national publications. His book on the late architect Fay Jones remains the standard reference on the subject, cited by the Art Library of North America for “highest standards of scholarship, design, and production.” Before becoming an architect, he served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy. Ivy, a fellow of the AIA, holds a master’s degree in architecture from Tulane University, where he serves on the advisory board, and a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in English from the University of the South (Tennessee). He is a member of CICA, the International Circle of Architecture Critics.

Kerry Leonard, AIA (charrette moderator) OWP/P Chicago, IL Kerry Leonard, principal and senior educational planner at OWP/P, has been nationally recognized for his leadership in education architecture. With more than 28 years of experience, he is an expert in working with clients to create inspiring places for children to learn. Working locally and nationally, Leonard has led school districts through the decision-making, planning, programming, and referendum phases of projects. He has been involved in all aspects of work related to educational facilities, including strategic and master planning, programming, renovations, additions, and new construction of schools. Leonard is currently chair of the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education and has been serving on the Leadership Group of the CAE for five years. He also serves on the Planning and Construction Committee for Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO), is a member of the Council of Educational Facility Planners International, and is a member of Illinois


Association of School Administrators (IASA). He is a regular presenter on current trends and issues in school design, and most recently, has spoken at the National School Boards Association annual convention, the AIA annual convention, and the IASBO Annual Convention. Projects on which Leonard has worked have been recognized for their creativity and positive impact on learning with the American Association of School Administrators Shirley Cooper Award; the CEFPI Great Lakes Midwest Region Shaw Award; Learning by Design; IASB, IASA, and IASBO; and the AIA CAE.

Charles Linn, FAIA Deputy Editor, Architectural Record New York, NY Charles Linn practiced architecture from 1978 until 1986, when he entered the publishing industry, launching Architectural Lighting for Aster Publishing in Eugene, Oregon. He later produced the magazine Laboratory Planning and Design for the company. He joined Architectural Record in 1990 as the editor of its Record Lighting publication and became managing senior editor in 1993. He has written and edited hundreds of articles for Architectural Record on every aspect of building design, architectural technology, and firm management, and he supervises the production of its monthly news section. In 2002 and 2003, Linn led the development of special issues on building and infrastructure security, which were published in cooperation with Engineering News Record. He launched Architectural Record Review in 2003. Linn has been instrumental in the editorial development of Architectural Record’s Innovation Conference for the past four years, and was instrumental in the launch of McGraw-Hill Construction’s new GreenSource magazine and website. He is currently leading the editorial development of Record’s Schools for the 21st Century publication, and its new Practice Matters website, which will launch in December. He graduated with a bachelor’s of architecture degree from Kansas State University in 1978 and was named a Distinguished Alumni Fellow in 1993. He was elected to the AIA College of Fellows in 2002. He has been a member of teams that have won four McGraw-Hill Corporate Achievement Awards for Editorial Excellence and is a member of the architectural honorary society, Tau Sigma Delta. He is licensed to practice architecture in Colorado, Kansas, and New York.

AAF Great Schools by Design

Nancy Zivitz Sussman (institute organizer) Program Director, American Architectural Foundation Washington, DC Nancy Zivitz Sussman began working as program director with the AAF in September 2005. Her main responsibility is to establish the Great Schools by Design program by conducting school design institutes and a range of forums related to the planning and design of community learning centers. The program emphasizes the importance of design to aid student achievement and serve the entire community.

Other work experience includes interning with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), where she co-wrote an annual report for ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative, by evaluating local policy and physical development progress throughout the Atlanta region brought about by the initiative. Before her time in Georgia, she interned for the environmental planning division of the Monroe County Planning Bureau in Rochester, New York. She also has work experience as a part-time substitute teacher in Wayne County, New York. Tsepas has a bachelor of science degree in architecture and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Before joining AAF, Sussman was senior associate with the Advisory Services Program at the Urban Land Institute. She also has worked as a community and urban planner with the City of Fairfax, Virginia. Earlier in her career, she was on staff with the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development and did hospital master planning for the Office of Construction at the U.S. Veterans Administration. Sussman has worked in the private sector as a planner for Flatow, Moore, Bryan & Fairburn, Inc., in Phoenix, Arizona, and for Parkins, Rogers & Associates in Columbus, Ohio. In the intervening years, she worked as a consultant to numerous economic development and planning groups, including the Lessard Architectural Group, the Federal Realty Investment Trust Company, Economic Research Associates, EDAW, and ADE & Associates. She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from George Washington University.

Joyce Tsepas Program Assistant, American Architectural Foundation Washington, DC Joyce Tsepas recently joined the AAF as a program assistant for the Great Schools by Design initiative. Before AAF, she worked at Urban Studio, a small architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design firm, in Atlanta, Georgia. Her key role at Urban Studio was to develop and manage a master plan and design guidelines for the Cleveland Avenue Corridor Study—an effort initiated by the South Fulton Medical Center that aimed to revitalize a dilapidated corridor in East Point, Georgia. With Urban Studio, Tsepas also worked on various mixed-use projects in the Atlanta region.

National School Design Institute


Acknowledgments The American Architectural Foundation (AAF)


extends its thanks to the resource team members

Through its Great Schools by Design program, AAF

and the school officials who were involved in the

has worked with about 40 superintendents primarily

National School Design Institute. We would like

from urban and suburban and districts, and 70

to thank the American Institute of Architects’

experts in education and design of school facilities,

Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE)

potentially affecting 1.5M students.

for its help in planning the event and its members’ participation. We are grateful to the sponsors of

A list of some participating school districts includes:

the National Institute: Architectural Record and

Akron Public Schools

Target. In addition, we would like to recognize

Bridgeport Public Schools

AAF’s other funding and alliance partners—in

Buffalo Public Schools

addition to Target, the presenting sponsor of Great

Carroll County Schools

Schools by Design—who share a common interest

Chicago Public Schools

in improving America’s communities and the built

Lincoln Public Schools

environment through design excellence.

Los Angeles Unified School District Manchester School District Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Mississippi Gulf Coast Districts (23) represented by the Gulf Cost Education Initiative Consortium Natrona County School District Okalahoma City Public Schools Pass Christian School District Peoria Public Schools St. Louis Public Schools District Syracuse City School District

For more information about AAF’s Great Schools by Design program and its school design institutes, please contact: Nancy Zivitz Sussman Program Director American Architectural Foundation 202.626.7412


AAF Great Schools by Design


Presenting Sponsor

Partners American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Education Architectural Record

Sponsors American Association of School Administrators KnowledgeWorks Foundation McGraw-Hill Construction National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities

Š 2006 American Architectural Foundation. All rights reserved. Design: Eileen Schramm visual communication

American Architectural Foundation 1799 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20006 Phone: 202.626.7318 Fax: 202.626.7420 Email:

National School Design Institute: Report of Findings 2006  
National School Design Institute: Report of Findings 2006  

AAF’s school design institutes aim to bring new knowledge to superintendents and other public officials involved in the construction and ren...