Hollis + Miller’s commitment to education remains strong, working with educational institutions across the country from pre-K12 through higher education to bolster student success. Dr. Chavey’s expertise is complemented by team members with an emphasis in education technology and educational psychology, and more than 100 designers passionate about education and creating opportunities to positively impact the world we live in.Continue reading
Hollis + Miller Architects is proud to announce the Liberty Public Schools Learnscape — an innovative outdoor learning environment— as a recipient of the 2021 AIA KC Design Excellence Awards. Learnscape, an annual philanthropic initiative led by the firm’s Emerging Professionals, is a 1,200-square-foot outdoor learning environment located between South Valley and Discovery middle schools in the Liberty School District.Continue reading
Identifying an opportunity to create stronger program synergies and increase visibility and accessibility to the community it serves, MCC made the strategic decision to move its Business & Technology campus to the urban core in hopes to build the workforce pipeline with a new population of workforce innovators.Continue reading
As the first middle school in the country to be located on an active air strip, SKIES brings a free educational experience to students introducing them to aviation and aerospace through hands-on learning. Project-based learning and professional exposure boosts students’ imaginations and drives innovation.Continue reading
In taking care of deferred maintenance and committing to capital improvements and repairs, as well as new construction projects, funding from bonds can move schools – and ultimately, the community – forward.Continue reading
Like many parts of the learning experience, furniture in K-12 schools has evolved since many of us were students. Expectations for the physical make-up of the classroom have adapted to meet newly identified needs.Continue reading
NOTE: This is the first of a series of posts on upcoming bond measures on the Nov. 2 ballot. You will be able to read the rest of the series here.
While school bond projects aren’t always the most fascinating thing to vote on, they are one of the most important things a community decides on during elections.
Bond measures reaffirm the local community’s choice to invest in capital repairs and improvements to schools, benefitting students’ collective futures. What we decide today helps the next generation of Coloradans.
With the explosive growth in Colorado, bond projects are a necessity to keep up with essential repairs, improvement projects and new construction. Pair that with the pandemic and remote learning bringing a higher need for connectivity and technological updates in schools and you’ll have quite a task list.
Each bond project is a reflection of its schools and every district must decide what makes the most sense for its students, staff and community. That’s why working with a team who is 100% dedicated to education and has deep expertise with public school bond campaigns in Colorado is so important.
Several bond measures will be on the ballot Nov. 2 in Northern Colorado, the Springs and throughout the Mountain Communities.
Catching up and Maintaining the Maintenance
Not a lot of Colorado school districts have passed bonds in recent years, however we are seeing several districts aiming to take advantage of lower interest rates and the return to in-person learning to provide much-needed renovations to buildings. Even if you aren’t seeing new school buildings going up, what’s happening inside is equally as important.
Take flooring, for example. Designing and installing new flooring is an opportunity to incorporate wayfinding and creativity. When done correctly, wayfinding helps with the management and flow of students, particularly in cases where social distancing may still be needed. Flooring design utilizes shapes, directional patterns and color to promote movement throughout schools, while also improving user experiences and providing learning opportunities for students.
Bonds also fund maintenance projects, and while many may not be glamorous, they improve overall health. For example, removal of airborne chemicals lying dormant in old carpet, walls and tiles. Many understand the pain of removing asbestos, but volatile organic compounds (VOCs) also lurk in older rooms and while they aren’t specifically dangerous, it’s good to remove them from the classroom. In terms of health, it’s addition by subtraction.
Crank up the HVAC installation and repairs
We’d venture to say a number of Colorado natives didn’t worry about air conditioning growing up, and to hear us say HVAC units should be a top priority may seem a bit odd.
COVID proved top-notch ventilation systems are a must. It’s more than just keeping everyone cool in rising temperatures – it is providing consistent airflow and air quality for students. Today’s HVAC systems are measuring and filtering CO2 levels and other airborne particles, increasing student health and leading to better learning.
While this isn’t just a problem in Colorado (The General Accountability Office found 41% of public school districts need to update or replace HVAC systems) it is something Colorado schools need to tackle as we experience weather shifts and changing federal and state air quality standards.
Getting technical on technology and design
Education is aimed at preparing students for the future and laying a foundation for the workforce, and therefore it is critical to create and maintain a learning environment where students can develop skills and utilize the technology they will become accustomed to on a daily basis.
Technology upgrades provide pathways for current additions and future upgrades, and this looks different for each school and district. For some, it’s adding charging stations and more smart-enabled learning spaces, as well as devices for students. For other schools, an overhaul of the communication pipeline might be needed: wi-fi and/or fiber optics, cyber security updates, the addition of multimedia technology in new innovation labs and the like. Bond measures cover all of these crucial enhancements.
Facilities designed 30-60 years ago simply don’t have the same maintenance items matching up with today’s curriculum. Teaching and learning continue to evolve, and the psychology of learning has also changed. It is important the physical learning space supports that and remains flexible for the future.
Voters can find more information on specific bond proposals for Brighton 27 J, Weld County School District R4, Manitou Springs School District 14 and Colorado Springs School District No. 11 in the highlighted links.
Once bonds are passed, the building begins. To maximize bond-issued funds, you need a partner who specializes in building learning spaces and knows the local community. Contact Hollis + Miller to learn more about the impacts these bond projects can make or to speak to our team about how we can help with bond support graphics and long-range planning.
Educational architecture is about impacting tens of thousands of students at a time, as well as the communities around them. We believe sustainable design is inseparable from great design.Continue reading
Last year, the firm’s Colorado office added seven new team members (growing from 10 to 17) and worked on 108 projects (as compared with 38 in 2019, an increase of 184%).Continue reading
Hollis + Miller Architects is proud to announce its Learnscape outdoor learning environment at Sunflower Elementary was selected for the 2020 National AIA Emerging Professionals Exhibit.Continue reading