By the time this issue is in your hands, the majority of kids across the country will be sitting in their classrooms, ready to get another year of school under their belts. Many of these children will be attending school in facilities that feature innovative classrooms, bright and daylighted common areas, and dynamic auditoriums.
The kids attending school at this year's Crow Island School Citation-winning facility, Oak Harbor High School in Oak Harbor, Wash., will be treated to a cafeteria that serves as a "living room" for the school and the city. The school, the main educational and civic institution in the city, serves needs that previously had gone unfilled for the community.
Students at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., this year's Collegiate Citation winner, have the advantage of an expanded performing arts building that is a showpiece on campus.
This year's jury also wanted to recognize three Special Citation winners, projects that rose to the top for exemplary reasons:
Miami Dade College's Miami Culinary Institute offers a complete soil-to-soil educational experience—from the garden, to the table, and back to the ground where it all began.
The renovation of Hubbard Hall at Michigan State University focuses on how to better support student success by delivering services to where students live. Vibrant colors encourage students to come out of their standard residence hall rooms and spark lively connections and interaction among their friends.
The third Special Citation winner is San Antonio College's Nail Technical Center. Part of the Mortuary Science Department, the center features a unique program for students who will work in the funeral industry.
Diverse spaces, endless ideas and exciting environments for students are what awaits you in this special issue. This fall, I hope students who are privileged to attend school in these spaces take a moment to look around and appreciate their surroundings.
Lustig is executive editor of AS&U.