School Construction: Safety First

school construction

It doesn’t seem possible we’ll return to one-room schoolhouses for all ages and grades. But never say never. The concept of multiple buildings dedicated to housing elementary schools, middle or junior high schools, and high schools is under scrutiny. School construction is undergoing reconstruction.

A 60,000-square-foot school building is underway in Colorado. Upon completion (Spring 2024), the Walsh School District facility will house the community’s Pre-K-12 students. The architect is Wold Architects and Engineers. The builder is GH Phipps Construction. 

In Georgia, a 400,000-square-foot building will serve K-12 students under one roof. The consolidated campus will include a football stadium and a school police department. Each phase of the building’s design followed Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles. 

CPTED in School Construction

A 2017 Department of Education study of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design School Assessment concluded architectural design and construction can impact aggressive behavior. It provides a checklist for rating school campuses:

  • Arrival/departure
    • Buildings
    • Grounds
    • Interiors
      • Cafeteria/food court areas
      • Classrooms
      • Corridors

“CPTED is a preventive, proactive model, and not a reactive one,” says Design For Security. Its principles emphasize:

  • Defensible space
  • Management/maintenance
  • Movement control
  • Physical security
  • Surveillance

There are 3 ways the physical environment can be managed to reduce the opportunity for crime:

  1. Mechanical – Incorporation of security hardware (e.g. CCTV, lighting, locks)
  2. Natural – Inclusion of basic security and behavioral provisions, influencing how spaces/buildings are used (e.g., identifying borders, surveillance windows)
  3. Organized – Human security (e.g., police, patrols)

School construction renovations today often include updated door locks, better security cameras, and metal dividers that can lock down specific corridors and classrooms.

Educational property renovations and new-build constructions are primarily dependent on local and state funding, but there are federal school construction grants and loans available. As a community business, your construction company can promote funding information that generates work for you and a safer environment for your area students.

Ask us how to learn about other construction companies’ projects using our building permit analytics. You can examine like-minded U.S. companies and scrutinize local competitors’ bids with customized data.

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