What Makes an Outstanding Project

In judging this year's entries, the jury gave great weight to flexible facilities that reach out to the entire community. The designs should be inclusive, inspiring, efficient and forward-looking. Buildings should provide security and adapt well to their surroundings. The jury looked for several characteristics when selecting citation winners from the submitted projects:

- Community. The design should recognize that a school is a learning community that goes beyond K-12 education. That includes before- and after-school programs, such as childcare, and less traditional uses, such as banks, learning centers, and partnerships with businesses and the community.

- Durability. How well does the design wear visually?

- Environment. The design should take into account the relationship of the environment to education. How does the environmental design reinforce the educational program?

- Flexibility. The design should reinforce educational concepts, but recognize that they are changing and be flexible to those changes.

- Inspiration. Buildings should provide flexible spaces that help establish an inspiring education environment.

- Landscape. The landscape should be inviting, enhance the design and inspire the community. It should reflect the locale of the project.

- Longevity. How well does the design hold up? This refers to not just the materials, but how the design fits changing educational demands.

- Participation. The community - all stakeholders - should have a role in the design process.

- Security. The design should have more than just mechanical elements to enhance safety. The design itself should promote security.

- Technology. The design should look at more than just computers.

- Value. The design should provide the maximum educational bang for the buck - not only in bricks and mortar but also in spaces and how they relate to a more holistic view of education.

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