Report recommends establishing a federal clearinghouse for best practices to include school designs.
The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2019 President William Bates, FAIA, issued the following statement regarding findings from the Federal Commission on School Safety’s new report:
“While the AIA can only evaluate design-related aspects of the commission’s report, the Institute believes its inclusion of many design recommendations made by AIA members on behalf of the Institute will assist the United States in achieving safer schools.
“Most notably, the AIA applauds the committee’s support for creating a federal clearinghouse of best practices to include school designs, which has been a leading AIA policy initiative. By making design resources accessible to education officials, all design professionals and the public, we can better promote the design of safe and productive learning environments.
“Additionally, the report’s support for AIA member testimony on aspects of school design, such as layering security features seamlessly into the facility layout, will help school administrators make their students safer and promote positive learning environments.
“While the report stops short of recommending funding for schools to pursue safer school designs, the AIA will continue to advocate for Congress to make safe school design eligible for federal grants.
“Though the commission’s report did not accept all the design recommendations put forth, we are encouraged by the support of design initiatives that are included. It’s incumbent upon the entire architecture community to continue to advocate for design solutions in educational facilities. The AIA will continue to lead this effort at all levels of government.”