Schools

The first academic building planned for Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus earned rave reviews — and unanimous approval — on Oct. 17 from the Alexandria City Council for its architectural design and environmental sustainability features. The Academic 1 building, designed by Detroit-based SmithGroup, features a gem-shape design centered on the principles of sustainability, health and wellness, green and social spaces, accessibility, connectivity, flexibility and integrated technology.

The new Julia Tutwiler Hall is rising on the campus of the University of Alabama at the corner of 12th Street and 10th Avenue. The $145 million project will replace the existing Tutwiler Hall, which was constructed in 1968. The new dorm building, which will house more than 1,200 female freshmen students, will have four wings surrounding a central courtyard.

On Oct. 15, Maryland's Prince George's County Council approved a plan to develop six new schools in the jurisdiction through a public-private partnership, which would be the first of its kind in the nation. The council said the partnership will allow for faster construction of five new middle schools and one K-8 school.

By the end of 2021, Mill Hill Elementary School in Fairfield, Conn., will be more than 30 percent larger than it is today. Construction is under way on the school's more than $23 million expansion project, which was a hot topic in town last year when the specifics of the addition were being decided.

Administrators in the University of Maine System on Oct. 7 lauded a $240 million gift that is among the largest ever in public institutes of higher education and will be used for systemwide investments in facilities, academics and athletics. Much of the funding from the Harold Alfond Foundation, one of the state's leading philanthropic organizations, will be spent on the University of Southern Maine campus in Portland.

The Crawford County, Ga., school district is seeing progress on the construction of its new middle-high school building in the town of Roberta. Crews started working on the two-story building, featuring a new gymnasium, in June, with a completion scheduled for the end of 2021.

It's back to school for Franco Builders as the family-owned contractor takes on two major new high school projects in the Houston area — Alvin ISD (Independent School District) High School 4 and Fort Bend ISD High School 12. (L-R): Manuel Franco, owner of Franco Builders; Vic Palermo, sales representative of Easton Sales & Rentals; and Jose Zuniga, owner of Franco Builders.

The new Herbert Hoover High School campus beginning to take shape near Elkview, W.V., "is an excellent example of planning with foresight," said Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) chief Pete T. Gaynor, who observed earth-moving work under way at the school's construction site Sept.

Administrators from the Enfield School District and local officials joined representatives from Gilbane Building Company and JCJ Architects on Sept. 14, 2020, to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the "renovate as new" JFK Middle School renovation and expansion project.

At the University of North Dakota (UND), crews are making significant progress on a new Memorial Union building. The $80 million, 158,000 sq.-ft. student union center will offer upgraded services and the latest in technology when it opens in 2021. "The Memorial Union is the heart of campus," said Cassie Gerhardt, UND associate dean of students.

The new $75 million Morse High School in Bath, Maine, remains on budget and scheduled for completion this December, with the grand opening slated for February 2021. The new school – which will encompass nearly 190,000 sq. ft. – will replace the century-old Morse High School.