Top 5 School Design & Construction Stories of 2013

The school construction industry continued to focus on green building and technology as construction on several 21st century education facilities broke ground and debuted in 2013. Facilities focused on media and technology as well as career preparation — specifically careers in business — were the most highly anticipated ones to open. Read on to remember some of the top stories that School Construction News readers clicked on the most last year.

1. Pasadena ISD to Open New Career and Technology High School: The Pasadena Independent School District broke ground in April on the 246,000-square-foot Career and Technology High School (CTE) scheduled to open in August 2014. The school will be equipped with facilities to prepare students for 21st century careers — from cosmetology to construction — while earning them college credits with focus on the community’s job market.

2. Yale Attracts Researchers with New Innovative Labs: Yale University opened the new W-B 24 scientific research facility at the university’s growing West Campus Integrated Science & Technology Center (W-ISTC). The 460,000 square feet of laboratory space has been designed so that the individual labs can support a variety of biology and engineering studies and include features such as microscopy suites, DNA sequencers and cell culture, which will likely draw new researchers and their practices.

3. New Business School Underway at University of Florida: The University of Florida broke ground on Heavener Hall, a new 21st century business school for the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business Administration. The 56,200-square-foot building will give the undergraduate business program one dedicated location for undergraduate students to learn. The current business program is spread out among several other buildings.

4. Construction Continues on UConn’s New Basketball Arena: A new basketball court is in the works at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. The two-floor, 78,200-square-foot court will feature a new basketball Hall of Fame, which will include three men’s and eight women’s NCAA championship trophies.

5. Salt Lake Community College Unveils Media Center: Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) debuted its new Center for Arts and Media (CAM) in early November at South City Campus. The new 130,000-square-foot center houses SLCC programs, such as journalism, television broadcast production, music technology, and recording and visual arts, for about 9,000 students.

While the school construction industry in 2013 continued to focus on creating 21st century learning environments, School Construction News predicts some other trends for 2014. Our January/February issue highlights new steps in sustainable design, as more and more net-zero energy facilities are being built. In fact, the Facilities of the Month cover story features the new Los Angeles Harbor College Sciences Complex, designed to achieve net-zero energy and to serve as a teaching tool for the college’s physical science and life science programs. Stay tuned for the most up-to-date stories in the coming year.