Editor's Focus
Editor's Focus: What Were They Thinking?

Editor's Focus: What Were They Thinking?

File this under: “What were they thinking?”

A 47-story skyscraper in Benidorm, Spain, is missing one very important design element: an elevator. The Intempo skyscraper construction project, originally planned to be 20 stories tall and a symbol of Spain’s resurgence, grew to a 47-story showpiece building as developers pushed the envelope. 

It seems that in their haste to complete this edifice, all parties involved in the construction project neglected to update plans to include the necessary elevators required for a 47-story facility. The architects have resigned, and developers now must find a solution to the vertically challenged fiasco.  

Schools and universities are not immune to problems with the design, planning, upgrade and construction of existing buildings and new facilities projects. Recently, the Philadelphia school district announced that they are suing nearly two dozen architecture and design firms for about $2 million in damages on past capital-improvement projects. 

Although the district has not specified what the deficiencies are or how they affected buildings, it did say there were deficiencies in the drawings and specifications that the accused firms had prepared for the projects.

Facilities and construction problems do arise, but the majority of education construction projects are expertly and carefully planned, designed and built, and are welcome additions to the students, staff and community that benefit from them. 

No doubt there will be more “What were they thinking?” moments, and some will even happen among the tens of billions of dollars worth of education construction projects put in place annually. But if the past is any precursor to the future, we won’t be hearing about any significant mistakes in newly completed education facilities such as those made with the Intempo skyscraper. 

With all the checks and balances inherent in school and university construction projects, those involved have done the necessary thinking to ensure success. 

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