Top 5 Most-Read School Construction News Stories of 2017

When it comes to buying a new calendar, everybody knows that if you’re patient and wait a few weeks into the new year, that adorable cat calendar with a new meow every month with be half off. But that’s not how editorial calendars work — they require vigilance and an eye for what our readers want. That said, thanks to technology, we’re able to look back and see precisely what you, our readers, enjoyed most. True, this is a totally unscientific analysis (i.e., pageviews), but we deduced a few trends as represented by the top five stories below. And, as always, please share your ideas with us here to help us better serve you in 2018.

Living Laboratory Helps Washington State’s New Everett University Center Shine

Benjamin Benschneider Photography

Washington State University North Puget Sound at Everett recently completed the new Everett University Center. The new academic building will serve as an engineering and STEM facility, and is seeking LEED Gold certification. SRG Partnership was the architect on the project, with Hoffman Construction serving as the general contractor; both companies have offices in Seattle. McKinstry (also of Seattle) was the engineering firm on the project and was responsible for implementing the energy and water conservation measures into the 95,000-square-foot facility. The project had a budget of $65 million, and the building was completed in May 2017 after three years of construction. Read more

Smart Design Principles Boost Productivity & Sustainability

As times and technology change, so do students’ needs. When faced with rising financial pressures and students’ changing preferences, colleges and universities continue to look for new ways to reduce operating costs while continuing to improve the educational experience. To do so, architects and designers face these design challenges head on, ultimately creating new trends and principles for sustainable institutions. Schools and universities continue to implement more flexible spaces that can be used either for quiet individual studying or collaborative group projects. Read more

Emerging School Restroom Trends Help Ensure Transgender Student Safety

For decades, the school restroom was mythologized in popular culture as an ersatz meeting place or den of low-end inequity — consider the Fonz entreating his male interlocutors to “step into my office” or Mötley Crüe’s cover of “Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room.” These days, the school restroom is also terra incognita when it comes to challenges facing transgender students and the socio-political debate that surrounds them. The issue became particularly divisive in April 2016 when, under President Barack Obama, the Department of Education pressed a handful of contentious school districts to permit transgender students the use of bathrooms of the gender with which they identify. Read more

What Do You Do if a Student Gets Trapped in a Locker?

You know the scenario: A small geek gets shoved into his locker by some meathead only to suffer the further indignity of being locked inside of it. It’s a staple sight gag of movies and TV, but does it really happen — can a student really get locked in a locker? That would be an emphatic “Yes!” if you believe the posts at the self-billed “front page of the Internet,” Reddit, an online, crowdsourced news site, qua bulletin board, that has long been a repository for teen angst. Read more

Study Shows Digital Technology Use Increases for Building Maintenance

Daedalus Howell

Daedalus Howell is the associate editor at Emlen Media. He can be reached directly at He writes books, makes movies, podcasts and blogs at

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