Editor's Focus: Blueprints for Success

Nov. 1, 2002
Twenty years ago, American School & University introduced what has become an invaluable tool for school and university administrators planning construction and renovation projects.

Twenty years ago, American School & University introduced what has become an invaluable tool for school and university administrators planning construction projects — the Architectural Portfolio.

The Portfolio was unique for its time. After an escalation in school construction in the 1950s and 1960s to accommodate the original baby boom, the late 1970s and early 1980s ushered in a period of dwindling enrollments that resulted in education institutions shutting down facilities and disposing of buildings. But as many were predicting the demise of the education facilities market, AS&U saw an industry about to explode. As the commentary of the inaugural 1983 Portfolio stated:

“Why a special issue on educational architecture? Because we are optimistic that educational construction will continue to be a vibrant industry. Next year, for the first time in a decade, the elementary school population is expected to increase, and with it the demand for new, expanded and refurbished schools.”

Much has changed in the design and construction of schools since the Portfolio's inception two decades ago — and the next 20 years are sure to bring about a further evolution of the learning environment. This year's source-book highlights 234 school and university projects, representing some of the most outstanding environments for learning. Receiving the top honors:

  • William W. Caudill Citation (p. 20). Noble High School, North Berwick, Maine, designed by Harriman Associates.

  • Louis I. Kahn Citation (p. 22). Washington & Jefferson College, The Howard J. Burnett Center, Washington, Pa., designed by MacLachlan, Cornelius and Filoni.

  • Special Citation (p. 24). Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., designed by Cambridge Seven Associates.

Over the years, the Architectural Portfolio competition has attracted the nation's elite education administrators and architects as jurors. This year's jury is no exception. You can meet them and read their commentary beginning on p. 10.

The school facilities that will house the next generation of children are before you — and offer exceptional ideas and concepts as you embark on your next construction project. And as the learning environment continues to evolve over the next 20 years, you can count on the Architectural Portfolio to bring you the best solutions in education design.



Number of Citations awarded by the expert jury to projects exhibiting the best in architectural design and planning.


Elementary-school projects selected for publication in this year's Architectural Portfolio.


Middle-school projects appearing in this year's competition.


High-school projects selected to appear in the 2002 Architectural Portfolio.


Post-secondary projects appearing in this year's competition.


Number of projects completed in Massachusetts, which accounted for the most projects featured from any state.

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