Events held as part of School Building Week 2004 highlighted a range of topics, from historic schools to public-private partnerships to help pay for construction.
Several dozen schools nationwide celebrated the annual event, sponsored by the Council for Educational Facility Planners International, by hosting “walking school buses.” Students walked to school in groups to promote walking as an alternative to riding buses.
Groups that sponsored specific activities included the Washington-based AARP and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as well as the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“School Building Week gets better and more exciting every year,” said Ron Fanning, the president of the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based facility planners’ council.
The week, April 19-23, ended with CEFPI’s school design competition for Washington middle school students. Winning designs focused on environmentally friendly architecture and reuse of existing materials, natural lighting, and energy savings.
A group of students from the District of Columbia’s Hardy Middle School won an award for a design featuring escalators, so students wouldn’t be late for class, and a round gym for soccer games, so that the ball wouldn’t get stuck in corners.
The grand-prize-winner from Stuart Hobson Middle School in Washington, which featured rooms that could be used by other members of the community, a special-events restaurant for nearby Robert F. Kennedy Stadium patrons, a culinary arts center, and a public library.
As part of the School Building Week festivities, KnowledgeWorks Foundation announced a national search for schools that are exceptional examples of the trend to build schools as the centers of communities.
The Cincinnati-based group is offering a $5,000 grant to a school that exemplifies those traits. It will also feature the school on its Web site. The group hopes to prompt architects and planners to think about new ways of encouraging community use of schools. Entries will be accepted until July 23. The winner will be named Sept. 28 at the group’s annual conference.