By Sam Andras, Senior Principal, 2WR + Partners:
A full service architecture and interiors firm with offices in Georgia and Colorado

Over the years we’ve worked with many different Boards of Education.  While each is unique, they all have one thing in common: they are there to support the education of children.  While the emphasis may be presented in different ways, there are several themes that hold true across the country, as illustrated in each district’s Mission , Goals, Values and/or Belief statements.  Common themes include the desire to provide:

  • A safe and secure environment,
  • An environment where students can learn and achieve academically beyond all expectations,
  • An environment conducive for students to view learning as a lifelong pursuit,
  • The opportunity to inspire every student to think, to learn, to achieve, and to care,
  • The environment necessary to prepare students to compete in the global economy, and
  • The opportunity for students to become productive citizens in a diverse and changing world.

As illustrated above, these common themes include many requirements of the environment: safety, conducivity to learning, inspiration, and preparing students to achieve in the world.  While some districts recognize the correlation between facilities and success, many still fail to do so.  If these truly represent the Mission, Goals, and Values of the districts, then discussions over school design must become a priority.