Promoting Student & Teacher Wellness through K-12 School Design

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the average student spends more than 15,000 hours in school by the time they graduate high school, second only to the amount of time spent at home. This makes it critically important to design school buildings that support the physical and mental wellness of students and teachers.

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Virginia COTE Architects to Host ArchEx Workshops

William Abrahamson, AIA, is a senior associate at Grimm + Parker Architects, with offices in Charlottesville, Tysons, and Calverton, Maryland. He’s also Co-Chair of Virginia’s Committee on the Environment (COTE), which is hosting “Creating Your Sustainability Action Plan,” a workshop at Architecture Exchange East (ArchEx)  in November. Since July, Virginia COTE members have been presenting a multi-part series called “Embodied Carbon 101,” which originated with the Boston Society of Architecture and aims to empower architects at the design and specification stages (and beyond) to make sustainable choices. At ArchEx, Abrahamson and COTE will offer specific and actionable steps for architects and designers to continuously work with the environment in mind.

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Hanbury Reinvents Mary Washington Hub Seacobeck Hall for the Next 100 years

Until 2015, the social hub of the Fredericksburg campus of the University of Mary Washington was a 1928 dining hall designed by Robinson and Walford (with a 1951 addition by Walford and Wright). “Seaco” was part of the original campus plan for what was then known as the Fredericksburg State Teachers College and even until its last days, it remained the spot where students could grab a late-night slice of pizza or an early-morning coffee as they head to classes elsewhere on campus. Robinson and Walford’s original scheme featured a dome room with two grand dining halls. Its successor firm Walford and Wright added two more dining halls later to accommodate a growing student body — making it four distinct wings with a central kitchen under the dome.

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Safer K-12 Design: School Should Feel – and Look – Like School

By Becky Brady, AIA, CDT, LEED AP BD+C

K-12 schools exist to engage students in active learning, providing them with the skills and knowledge for successful futures. Unquestionably, these environments should also be safe and welcoming. Today’s students grapple with concerns including bullying, fights, the risk of school shootings, natural disasters, and mental health of students and teachers, leading to the need for innovative solutions to make learning spaces open and inclusive while also secure.

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Preserving A Magical Forest and Uniting Forward-Focused Athletics at Potomac School

The Spangler Center for Community and Athletics is conceived as a new place on the Potomac School campus that reinforces the school’s beliefs that intellectual development, love of learning, and strength of character are complementary and essential educational goals to support an equitable community. 

The project unites the school’s athletic programs as the primary location for all indoor athletic fitness and training, while providing a variety of new state-of-the-art spaces for athletic competition, learning and community gatherings. It improves the school’s ability to provide a balanced educational experience that integrates academics, athletics, and the arts within a diverse, inclusive learning community.

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Emil + Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center

By 2025, there will be a 10 million job shortfall in the skilled labor market in the US. The average age of skilled workers is 55 years old. Rising to meet these challenges, the new Emil + Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center will prepare Winchester Public Schools students and community members for the new workforce of tomorrow. The project is a product of multiple funding sources, including private donations, grants, and an unprecedented amount of state funding. A radical transformation of an existing unused elementary school, the mission of the Center is to ensure that every student is prepared and empowered with a marketable skill that leads to full, high-paying employment and that every regional industry is fully supplied with dedicated, skilled workers that will sustain and improve their business model.

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When Passions for Volunteering and Good Design Merge

Kelley Holmes, AIA, NOMA, an associate in Quinn Evans’ Richmond office, discusses in her words how finding her passions early on in her life and career were essential to her success.

For me, the true interest in architecture came from chance. My dad’s job involved him being heavy into technology and burgeoning technology, so I had the privilege from a young age of growing up in a household that had computers, which was a rarity for the late–eighties and early-nineties.

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