Education

Montana State University’s Beloved, Historic Romney Hall Awarded LEED Gold

Celebrating a sustainability milestone inspired by generations of forward-thinking students. Originally constructed in 1922, Romney Hall is one of the most noteworthy buildings on Montana State University’s (MSU) campus in Bozeman, Montana. Prominently located along Grant Street and adjacent to the open greenspace of the Romney Oval, this iconic building contributes significant value to the MSU Historic District, and is listed on the National Register of...

Designing Educational Facilities for the Next Generation of Healthcare Workers

There are an estimated 175,900 job openings for registered nurses each year through 2029 — and these are not positions our country or communities want to leave unfilled. The figure comes from a 2019 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it highlights the need to continue building this essential workforce. It also correlates to building and updating learning facilities to best train healthcare workers so they can step into their fields well prepared to keep the nation safe. It’...

Watch the Webinar Recording: Indoor Air Quality Solutions for Healthy Schools and Healthy Students

The past year has been a period of reactionary change for schools, with the pandemic requiring a pivot to remote learning, hybrid options, and careful re-openings. With the opportunity to be proactive, incorporate lessons learned, and effectively invest COVID-19 relief funding, school districts are planning upgrades to their facilities that improve health, safety, and learning for the long term. This challenge found our team looking at the issue of indoor air quality (IAQ) from multipl...

Indoor air quality solutions for healthy schools and healthy students

What you need to know to improve IAQ as kids transition back into the classroom The work to assess and improve indoor air quality (IAQ) is a top priority for school districts as they look to best utilize billions in COVID-19 relief funds and prepare for post-pandemic, in-person learning. With this much-needed funding becoming available, there’s an incredible opportunity to combine lessons learned from the past year with an amplified commitment to designing healthy schools...

The Park Academy: Education design turned inside out

For an AIA Austin design competition held earlier this summer, I joined a few team members to take on the topic of what learning environments might look like in a post-pandemic world. How could the design of these spaces support in-person education and help address the need for reduced class sizes, social distancing, and enhanced cleanliness, as well as ensure the health, safety, and well-being of students and teachers? This was an exploratory exercise to encourage out-of-the-box thinki...

COVID-19 design solutions: Assessing school facilities for readiness

How and when we go back to the physical school environment is understandably a hot topic. It not only involves the health and safety of our children, but also their ability to learn what they need to be successful adults. The longer the disruption and uncertainty, the tougher it will be to get back to normal — a "normal" that will inevitably look very different from what we're used to. School districts are currently considering all sorts of scenarios and of those, there will still need ...

Design for experiential learning and workforce readiness

The need for a skilled workforce in high-demand fields and the ever-increasing cost of a university degree have not only led to a shift in the predominant education models, but also a shift in how we design learning environments. One of the newer models — career and technical education (CTE) — is a hybrid version of vocational education, melding both academics and hands-on training. It targets students earlier in their learning journey and covers a broad range of industry sectors (see s...

Applying workplace design strategies to the classroom (and vice versa)

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a major change in the way workplaces are designed. Not long ago (and still today!), the creative, collaborative, open office environments common now were met with resistance and trepidation. It felt radically different at the time — turning the status quo on its head by creating workplaces that are not only more equitable and democratic, but also facilitate more productive interaction with colleagues, create health and wellness benefits, and fully utiliz...

New in our portfolio: Learning spaces that foster skill building

When designing an alternative high school, it’s natural to do things a little different. For the new Willard Alternative High School, part of Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) in Montana, the team worked to create a fun, funky, colorful, and spacious environment that would be comfortable and welcoming to students transitioning to a “new home.” Most importantly, it needed to house the spaces, resources, and technology that would help propel students into fulfilling futures. Working c...

IN THE NEWS: For Idaho’s design and construction firms, it’s smart to head back to school

In the April issue of the Idaho Business Review's Square Feet, the quarterly supplement focuses on the basics of Idaho school funding, the design/build process, historic preservation, and distance learning. Education design studio lead, Corey Johnson, spoke to the planning process. From idahobusinessreview.com: A scorching hot construction market, competition for appropriate sites, and volatility in the prices of materials such as steel and concrete make long-range plan...

IN THE NEWS: Gallatin High School rising, on time and on budget

Touring the construction site of Bozeman, Montana's new Gallatin High School, the project team talks about their progress and excitement as it takes shape, with a quote from CTA architect Nathan Helfrich. From bozemandailychronicle.com: Neither record snow, nor bitter cold, nor acres of mud have stopped the subcontractors working under general contractor Langlas & Associates. “Snow in February slowed us down a little bit,” said Roger Davis, Langlas’ project manager....

IN THE NEWS: School board approves renovation designs for Bozeman High

From nbcmontana.com: The school board gave CTA Architects Engineers the green light Monday night to go forward with designs the Bozeman-based architects have been working on since June. They'll now be working with a $17.5 million construction budget to bring them to fruition. Among the changes to come to Bozeman High is the demolition of five wings, at least 12 new teaching stations, remodeled and improved parent-drop off points and a possible third floor with classroom space. The archi...

St. Ignatius Catholic School named IBR’s top 2018 private project

St. Ignatius Catholic School of Meridian, Idaho, was recently named First Place among private projects in the Idaho Business Review's 2018 "Top Projects" issue! Full story on all the recipients here. Wright Brothers joined Forces with CTA Architects Engineers to coordinate over 30 subcontractors to construct St. Ignatius, the first newly constructed Catholic School in Idaho in over 55 years. The team build the state-of-the-art, 10-acre, 56,000 sq. ft. school for pre-K to eighth-grade st...

Education team bringing ‘super studio’ to Austin’s Waterloo School

Jim Beal and Corey Johnson (principals and co-leaders of CTA's Education studio), along with architect Alex Bingham and interior designer Sandi Rudy, are designing Austin, Texas's new Waterloo School. The private high school has core values of Belonging, Mentorship, Restoration, Complexity, Flourishing, Growth, and Generosity; and will focus on incorporating the city of Austin as a classroom. Recently, the team presented a design charrette and used an Oculus immersive VR experience to a...

IN THE NEWS: Community to supply ideas for new TVCC education center

From argusobserver.com: The project may be in the pre-design phase, but a newly renovated and expanded career and technical education center has begun in earnest. Treasure Valley Community College, along with its hired architectural firm, has begun gathering ideas for what that center will look like. On Tuesday, the community college began its listening sessions, led by hired firm CTA Architects Engineers, out of Boise. The sessions are designed to gather input from not only college fac...

Intern Intel: Wrapping Up

For my final design charrette I wanted to focus on presenting my project's process. So, I talked a lot about what I learned at each step along the way which helped me reflect on the stages I went through. After I presented, we all sat and discussed different colleges and programs. I received a ton of good advice and my biggest takeaway is to follow my intuition. Intuition brought me to CTA and I know that it will take me down the right path, especially going through college. My project ...
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