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AIABaltimore 21st Century Schools Charrette: Adaption, Flexibility, Future Proofing

November 10, 2016 @ 2:30 pm - 6:00 pm


3 AIA/CES HSW LUs available

Photo ID required to enter school

2:30 – 3:00 pm Registration
2:40 – 2:50 pm School Tour
3:00 – 6:00 pm Panel Discussion and Workshop

(DON’T COME LATE! Otherwise you will be caught in the 3:10 pm release of students)



3:00 – 3:30: Intro/Panel Discussion

  • What will cause teaching and learning to change in the future?
  • How will learning experiences look different in the near future?
  • What features of a learning space do you consider essential and perhaps permanent no matter the pedagogical or demographic changes?
  • What features of a learning space do you believe are most likely to evolve or change over time?
  • What is a good example of an adaptable space?

Moderator:  Scott Walters, AIA, Hord Coplan Macht

Panelists: (5-6 max)

  • John Wray, Secondary Mathematics Instructional Facilitator, Howard County Public Schools
  • Merril Plait, Administrator, Office of Engineering and Construction, Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Mick Rayburn, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
  • Jillian Storms, AIA, School Facilities Architect, Maryland State Department of Education
  • Cynthia Smith, P.E., ALEP, PMP, F. SEI, F. ASCE, Director – Facilities Design and Construction at Baltimore City Public Schools
Breakout Sessions

(Each Panelist heads a group. There will be 5-6 Groups with 6-8 in a group = 30-48 participants total)

1st Session on the following Questions:

What does it mean for schools to be flexible? What should be permanent?

3:30 – 3:35: Question Introduction
3:35 – 4:00: Breakout / Workshop on Questions
4:00 – 4:30: Report Back on Responses
4:30 – 4:35: Break

2nd Session on the following Questions:

How do we design for the future? Academics will change, students will change, how could our buildings change? How do we plan for that now?

4:35 – 4:40: Question Introduction
4:40 – 5:05: Breakout / Workshop on Questions
5:05 – 5:35: Report Back on Answers
5:35 – 6:00: Conclusion/Next Steps

Program Mission

In 2016 AIABaltimore’s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) is examining school design and construction to provide guidance on how to maximize the value of each dollar invested into public education. We are acutely aware that the school construction needs in the state of Maryland exceed our current budget capacity. As a committee we are invested in finding ways to maximize taxpayer’s investment in the life cycle cost of schools by building more efficiently and to deliver 21st century learning spaces for today’s learners.

Research has proven there is an undeniable link between properly designed learning environments and learning.

Learning environments must be adaptable to better educate learners for 21st century challenges. Flexible and adaptable space should be the norm, the minimum, for our learning environments. The built environment has the ability to be a willing partner in education. The buildings we create can be a teaching tool. This should be our aspiration.

Schools are also homes for the community.The best schools in our State have a strong sense of community not only within the school but also within their neighborhood. It is important to understand that each neighborhood is truly unique and to maximize the effectiveness of each school, each solution must reflect the community they serve.

We are adamant proponents of not sacrificing life cycle costs for first time costs. It is financially unsustainable to achieve lower construction cost by sacrificing life-cycle cost. We cannot burden future generations with poor decisions made today.

The problems facing public education are ever-changing; today we face budget shortfalls and demographic change. We believe the solution is to build what is proven to work, make it adaptable, assess frequently and maintain them as effective learning environments. Financial sustainability throughout the life of the school should be the primary goal—not simply reducing first cost.


Grimm + Parker
GWWO Inc./Architects
Hord Coplan Macht
Rubeling & Associates, A JMT Division

Special thanks to AIA Maryland for support of this initiative




November 10, 2016
2:30 pm - 6:00 pm
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New Catonsville Elementary School
106 Bloomsbury Avenue
Catonsville, MD 21228 United States