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'We Can be Intelligent About How we Design our Spaces': Building and Modifying Schools in the Pandemic

'We Can be Intelligent About How we Design our Spaces': Building and Modifying Schools in the Pandemic  Banner Image

MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS)— When it comes to designing schools for the "new normal," you can bet one Madison-area architecture firm is beyond busy helping districts across Wisconsin.

"We've been able to work with many school districts throughout Wisconsin. Since, 2014, we've worked, we've done about $1.5 billion worth of school design," EUA’s Chris Michaud says.

The top designer says in just three weeks, his firm created a "Design Considerations for K12 Facilities Post Pandemic" brochure for clients considering upgrades or modifications. He says schools of the future must think about one key issue: Airflow. 

"Maybe there's a way in which we can be a little bit more intentional about how circulation works in the building that may require adding an additional stair or widening corridor just a little bit, but that would allow for future adaptability and flexibility in future issues," Michaud says.

Districts should also weigh other options like installing touch-less doors and adding dedicated sinks to every classroom.

"If lunch is being served in the classroom as opposed to going to the cafeteria during this pandemic, students have the ability to wash hands, and do food service within the classrooms, if they have some of those amenities there," Michaud says.

A representative with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction says the state agency does not have any best practices on building new school buildings. Rather, those decisions are made by local communities.

Watch Chris Michaud's interview with Spectrum News.

Kathryn Larson
Spectrum News

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