Protecting our Children: Design for Safe Pre-K to 12th Grade Environments

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Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify safety concerns affecting the architecture and design of early childhood through high school environments.
  2. Determine the materials and methods necessary to maintain the safety of a school building.
  3. Evaluate how best to integrate these materials and methods into a building, while maintaining a healthy and stimulating environment for children of all ages.
  4. Integrate alternative schemes to balance and support the initial security strategies to create more nurturing and supportive places without fear.


AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
AANB 1 Hour of Core Learning
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
NLAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
NSAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
OAA 1 Learning Hour
SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.
This course is approved as a Structured Course
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Approved for Core Learning
This course is approved as a Core Course
Course may qualify for Learning Hours with NWTAA
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a core course
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia
This test is no longer available for credit
How do we create stimulating, healthy school buildings that are secure yet non-threatening? Leaders in the design of Pre-K through 12th grade facilities from NAC Architecture, Perkins&Will and Svigals + Partners, architect of the new Sandy Hook School in Newton, Connecticut, will address the safety issues and concerns facing school administrators and architects today with alarming frequency. The presentations will include supporting data and actual projects that will demonstrate how innovative security standards (mandated or voluntary), processes, and technologies can be integrated into a school’s architecture and balanced by thoughtful materiality and spatial configurations to create enriching environments in which children can learn and thrive.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Responsible for the Record Interiors issue, quarterly lighting sections, and such special issue sections as Schools of the 21st Century, Linda Lentz joined RECORD in 2008. The Brooklyn native previously worked as a freelance writer and editor covering design, materials, and products for design and shelter publications including RECORD, Interior Design, Metropolitan Home, and This Old House. This followed 10 years as Home Magazine’s Articles Editor. Lentz holds an M.A. from NYU and a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute.

The relationship between educational facilities and their physical context is of particular interest to Boris Srdar, resulting in a philosophical basis for his work. His design approach focuses on the connection between learning outcomes and students’ perception of the built environment, helping even large-scale buildings provide an invigorating, human-scale experience. Srdar holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Zagreb in Croatia, and a Master of Design Studies from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Steven Turckes, FAIA, ALEP, LEED AP firmly believes in the power of education and educational environments to change lives. For more than thirty years he has shaped educational facilities in the Midwest, across the nation, and all over the world. Turckes’ body of work reflects his focus on connecting the knowledge and experience of educators with the energy and enthusiasm of students and communities to support innovative educational missions and spaces. His process is infused with the principles of observation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing, and he has led teams creating future-ready environments that stand the test of time. A true client advocate, Turckes finds it highly gratifying to attend a building dedication and see the community’s excitement about the possibilities of a new school.

With more than twenty years of varied architectural and planning experience, Julia McFadden accelerates client collaboration and project goals through experience, deep technical knowledge, and holistic problem-solving practices. She has developed a particular expertise in facilitating and leading user and community programming workshops, which is especially valuable in her role as K-12 Education Sector Leader for Svigals + Partners. Artfully steering the workshop process and analysis toward well-defined construction priorities, McFadden simultaneously identifies design opportunities for unique and inspired expressions of client mission and goals. Most recently she lent her expertise and leadership to the design and management of the new Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn., and the Engineering and Science University Magnet School (ESUMS) in West Haven, Conn.

Since joining Svigals + Partners in 1987, Jay Brotman has designed and managed acclaimed and award-winning commercial and institutional projects in the K-12, higher education, research science, residential, healthcare, and mixed-use sectors. Notable academic projects include the Columbus Family Academy in New Haven, Conn., the new Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn., and the Engineering and Science University Magnet School (ESUMS) in West Haven, Conn. In his role as managing partner for the firm, Brotman works to ensure that Svigals + Partners constantly renews itself as a state-of-the-art environment for the development of world-class architecture and design, dedicating his efforts to balancing strategic and creative endeavors, cultivating client relationships, and mentoring a highly productive team. Working closely in recent months with AIA leadership on the "Blueprint for Better” campaign, Brotman has emerged as an ambassador and civic leader at the local, state and national levels, sharing a message that safety for schools need not come at the expense of an inspiring and nurturing learning environment.


Technical Glass Products (TGP) Technical Glass Products (TGP), a division of Allegion, is the recognized leader in the fire-rated glass and framing field, offering the FireLite® family of ceramic glazing, Pilkington Pyrostop® transparent wall panels, and Fireframes® fire-rated framing. The company provides AIA-registered continuing education, project consultation, product specifications, CAD drawings, 3D BIM Models and rapid-response quoting.


Originally published in August 2019