Northeast Region


2017 Annual Regional Conference

Cities that Work, Schools that Work
  March 15-18, 2017
Cities that Work, Schools that Work
Providence Biltmore, Curio Collection by Hilton
Providence, Rhode Island
 
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Program Abstracts

Thursday, March 16, 2017
10:45-12:00 pm
1:30-3:00 pm
3:15-4:30 pm

Thursday, March 16, 2017 – 1:30-3:00 pm
Breakout Session 1: Hacking Education: Designing a STEM Environment for the 21st Century and Beyond
Speakers: Mark Thaler, Gensler
Trevor Shaw, Dwight-Englewood School Hajjar STEM Center

Room: Renaissance

The Hajjar STEM Center at the Dwight-Englewood School was designed to foster interdisciplinary, problem-based (21st Century), interactive learning. The School's mandate was that science, mathematics, and engineering be presented together rather than in isolation, using an integrated, experiential approach where students work on meaningful problems and are motivated to solve them. The building is a reflection of the school's commitment to problem-based, interactive learning. This session will focus on the inclusive planning process that engaged a broad cross-section of the school community, key design and pedagogical philosophies that that arose out of the planning process, and a post-occupancy evaluation of whether the building is performing as expected. The project was recently recognized by the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education, receiving an Award of Merit. This session will inform school leaders and administrators exploring the potential of a new design approach and the experts who are working on them.

Track: Schools That Work

Learning Objectives:

  1. Develop a planning process that is inclusive and will foster out of the box, visionary thinking.
  2. Understand a rubric for evaluating how your school is or is not embracing 21st Century Learning along with six learning modes associated with deeper learning.
  3. Create guidelines that serve both the design and curriculum planning process.
  4. Design a building that fosters 21st Century Learning yet has the flexibility to change as faculty collaborate, learn together, and rethink how and what they teach.
Breakout Session 2: Reconciling a Community and Creating a Sustainable Future: How to get From Here to There after a Canceled Project
Speakers: R. Jeffrey Straub, AIA, REFP, LEED AP BD+C, CPD, Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates
Amy Yurko, AIA, Brain Spaces

Room: Salon 2

In the early 2000's, State College Area School District recognized the need to update their 2,500 student high school facility. However, initial plans to update the facility did not meet community expectation due to funding and the project was stopped, leaving the district without funding for a project and the community at odds with each other and the School District. Fast forward 10 years. The community now supports the school board with a 74% referendum bond issue vote, the redesigned school is under construction, and when completed will be an exemplar facility for 21st century teaching and learning. How did the district get from here to there? What were the steps taken to build trust, support and to reconcile the community? And how does the new design enhance the District's educational vision?

Track: Cities That Work

Learning Objectives:

  1. How to identify the reasons that a proposed project may fail
  2. How to engage the community to understand their needs and ensure project success, and develop educational specifications for a sustainable 21st century HS learning environment
  3. How to incorporate sustainable design concepts into a 21st century learning environment
  4. How to comply with current life safety codes in a phased renovation and addition project.
Breakout Session 3: Evolution of Innovation: The Bryn Mawr School's Innovation Lab Development
Speakers: Eric Elton, The Bryn Mawr School
Justin Curtis, The Bryn Mawr School
Casey Smith, Hord Coplan Macht

Room: State Suite A

The Bryn Mawr School (BMS) believes that the creation of a cross-disciplinary Innovation Lab supports the recognition that students learn as much from hands-on experience and real-world challenges as from textbooks or computers. These experiences will help achieve equity and full participation for women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. Attendees will learn how BMS started its "first generation" initiative with $500 and an existing classroom, how it evolved into a "second generation" dedicated all-in-one Innovation Lab with volunteer staff, and then into a "third generation" design-build-critique suite of rooms with full-time dedicated staff. The Bryn Mawr School (BMS) believes that technology helps to foster higher level thinking skills while supporting different learning styles, creativity and collaborative learning. The creation of a cross-disciplinary Innovation Lab supports the recognition that students learn as much from hands-on experience and real-world challenges as from textbooks or computers. These experiences will help achieve equity and full participation for women in science, mathematics, engineering and computer science. The goal of the session is to provide institutions with flexible and adaptable strategies to develop hands-on learning opportunities on their own campus with minimal risk.

Track: Cities That Work

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand why innovation and entrepreneurial programs are relevant.
  2. Understand how your institution can start an innovation program with minimal risk.
  3. Examine the types of equipment and spaces required for a successful innovation program.
  4. Observe where things now stand in our "innovation odyssey". If you are at a crossroads, how can conference attendees help in figuring out the next step?
Breakout Session 4: Urban Conditions: Adaptive Reuse for Learning Environments
Speakers: Ben Pell, AIA, PellOverton Architects
Tate Overton, AIA, PellOverton Architects

Room: State Suite B

While urban schools uniquely benefit from the density and diversity of a metropolitan setting, accommodating the demand for larger and more varied building facilities is often challenged by constraints that are similarly unique to city life: from limited land availability and typically higher construction costs, to often complex and multi-step permitting processes. At the same time, cities across the US are rethinking the role and value of their older building stock, in many cases constructed 150 years ago for uses that ranged from agricultural to manufacturing. Today, new urban schools or those undergoing expansion or relocation are finding opportunity in these older buildings, whose robust structures and open plans are well suited to a wide range of programming – particularly the flexible and diverse learning environments of contemporary schools. The adaptive reuse of existing buildings requires both creative vision and strategic resourcefulness to transform an otherwise purpose-built structure into a successful learning environment. Among other things, this includes changes in perceived scale, materiality, lighting, and accessibility, as well as the remediation of environmental hazards common to older buildings. In so doing, these projects reinvigorate our working urban centers by breathing new life into the historic fabric of the city and reestablishing the relevance of these buildings in their communities – effectively rethinking the work that these buildings do in and for their cities. This presentation will explore three award-winning, urban adaptive reuse educational projects located in New York City: The Kennedy Child Study Center in East Harlem, Blue School's East Village lower school, and Blue School's South Street Seaport middle school expansion. Each of these projects faced a particular set of challenges inherent to the adaptive reuse of existing buildings, resulting in environments designed to actively engage with both the learning communities within and the surrounding community at large.

Track: Schools That Work

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review three example buildings in Providence for potential adaptive reuse.
  2. Identify potential challenges and opportunities: environmental, structural, spatial, and programmatic.
  3. Participants will be able to prepare a single concept sketch which illustrates how to provide unique opportunities for the given program.
  4. Review the sketches for completion and relevance to the topic
Breakout Session 5: Build BPS – an Educational and Facilities Master Plan for Boston Public Schools
Speakers: Alex Pitkin, AIA, SMMA
Philip J. Poinelli, FAIA, ALEP, SMMA
Kate Jessup, RA, SMMA
Tracy O'Connor

Room: Salon G

The City of Boston has 128 schools serving 57,000 student. There are 24 different grade configurations spread across the 128 schools. The smallest school is 9,000 sf and the largest is 918,000 sf. 84 schools or 65% were constructed prior to World War II. Eleven school buildings date from the 19th Century. Conducting an Educational and Facilities Master Plan for this wide range of facilities was an enormous undertaking. We conducted both physical assessments and educational facility effectiveness reviews for all schools in three phases, each with different depths of study. Our scope included: Educational Visioning including grade reconfiguration; educational delivery discussions; the building and educational assessments noted above; demographic projections; financial options for achieving the Master Plan and an approach for developing building models (options) for future determination. Rather than developing a report book, that would likely have been feet thick (that's a lot of surface area to collect dust) SMMA proposed to develop a web-based "dashboard" accessible to the community as well as Boston Public Schools and the City. The dashboard will be demonstrated.

Track: Cities That Work

Learning Objectives:

  1. How to organize the information gathering and reporting for 128 schools
  2. How a dashboard report out can make the process accessible and transparent to the community
  3. What needs to happen to realize the Superintendents goals of: Equity, Coherence and Innovation
  4. Kids can't wait years for new schools. How can you raise the bar quickly and at relatively low costs?