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Readers Respond: How Can We Build Better Schools?

Responses: 6


From the article: Winning School Designs
Students learn best when they have a safe, comfortable space to interact with their teacher and classmates. What features would you include in the design of your dream school building? Share your vision

Quick Panic Release

Up till now all panic hardware had to be secured by releasing the touch pad from the dogged down or unsecured position with a key or Allen wrench. Quick Panic Release is a button that replaces the end cap on the hardware that will let anyone needing to lock the door can do so with the push of a button. I have installed over 200 of them at Indiana State University. I feel this is a much needed improvement in the design of new panic hardware.
—Guest Jeff bensinger

Safer schools

Design entry to school office next to entry way before getting to hallways. Two separate doors to buzz, 1 after other is secured first. Could draw sample upon request. Bus dropoff/pickup should be different locations, too.
—Guest Sandy

Wide variety of solutions

Join my face book page--Engineering safer schools. There may be a whole host of solutions that could be implemented. Emergency detection, different architectural designs, and simple procedural changes.
—Guest Phillip

Treehouse school - learning in freedom

How I wish a school could be built on a TREE HOUSE... in fact a series of them... each subject/class on 1 tree connected through hanging bamboo/rope bridges with cable car rides in between / and slides that would bring the children down. Sort of have them live a dream, reach out to the sky yet keep them "down to earth" That would be MY dream school! :)
—Guest suruchi

Modern Schools - Lipstick on a Pig

Over-population has resulted in the need to build rapidly with light-weight materials. There isn't time to build human-friendly structures. These modern structures may admit lots of light, and often are painted in colors like children's toys in a failed effort to make them desirable, but like most modern architecture that has been foisted on the public, they are cold and only conducive to efficiency. Thank goodness it is difficult for humans to live without plants, else there would be nothing but plastic boxes with large ugly panes of glass; naked steel framing (showing off the architect's "genius"); jutting, harsh angles; and pavement. It's no wonder kids are on drugs, the world is too mechanical and electronic - not conducive to human flowering. Suggestion: recognize this truth that people don't state for fear of appearing ignorant and unsophisticated. Example: In Denmark, where these horrors abound, niches with remnants of lovely ornamentation of the past are pointed out.
—Guest Build for humans.

The "both/and" membrane

There should be places at the edges of buildings that are both IN and OUT -- where you can enjoy nature while being semi-connected to the inside. Screened porches are an example, as are atriums with major plant materials, or greenhouses. It's a loss when a building is a single box plunked into its site with only one sharp plane dividing the two worlds. With the "both/and" spaces, you can still do school-related activities but without so much glare, wind, rain, mosquitoes, dust, etc. There are lots of ways that people and nature-oriented designers can manifest this idea of a "both/and" space -- both for new construction and remodels -- and our schools will become richer places for it. Thanks for listening!
—Guest Robert Gay, architect

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How Can We Build Better Schools?

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