Proud Partners

As early as kindergarten, I remember adults talking about partnerships. Find a partner, walk with a partner, study with a partner, trade your work with a partner and check her answers.

In the education community, partnerships are everywhere: Schools partner with a city to create a community library or a natatorium facility; universities partner with medical facilities for education and research; districts partner with colleges for courses or to share facilities; the list goes on. It's inspiring, and often it shapes a school facility's design and the way in which it is used.

Another important partnership: that between an architect and a school or university.

As in any important relationship, there are conflicts, disagreements and bumps in the road. Money almost always is an issue, and every member of the partnership comes to the table with different ideas and must-haves. But working through the process can result in schools and university facilities that make students, staff and communities proud.

Coincidentally, it's November, a month during which we mark one of our nation's major holidays: Thanksgiving. The pilgrims and Indians — at its most basic retelling, the story is about a partnership and giving thanks.

And in that spirit, as we celebrate 25 years of the Architectural Portfolio, in this issue we thank the schools and universities that have worked to improve their facilities in the last 25 years, often on shoestring budgets; and the education architects and planners that have used their visions to design facilities that will stand over time, but will have the flexibility to adapt to changing teaching methodologies.

In the spirit of partnership, this year's Architectural Portfolio winners stand tall. The Caudill citation, Corvallis High School, Corvallis, Ore., (designed by Dull Olson Weekes Architects Inc.) made a commitment to the community by seeking silver LEED certification. The Kahn recipient, Ursinus College's Kaleidoscope Center for the Performing Arts, Collegeville, Pa., was designed to create partnerships among the arts and foster community. It was designed by Perry Dean Rogers | Partners Architects.

Are you forging partnerships we should know about? If so, let us know.

WEB 101

Do you hear what I hear?

You will if you visit asumag.com and listen to our podcast. Get into the minds of this year's jury members as they comment on the competition and beyond.

What is a podcast, you ask?

Looking to wikipedia.org for the answer: “A podcast is a digital media file, or a related collection of such files, which is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers. The term, like ‘radio,’ can refer either to the content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster.”

In our podcast, we asked each juror a question relating to this year's competition, the next generation of education facilities, and the qualities that contribute to outstanding learning environments.

To listen to their thoughts, visit our website at asumag.com. And don't forget to visit Schoolhouse Beat: The Blog; link from our home page to comment about what's on your mind. — Susan Lustig

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