The planning of proper educational facilities has possibly changed the Architect's approach to design more than other project types from the past few decades. Technology innovations, teaching methods, consolidation of grade levels, social issues, access for disabled students, special needs instruction and security requirements are evolving on a constant basis. Traditional school planning from the mid 20th century is no longer appropriate for contemporary times and the future. Some of the changes from older schools to present day are; free-flowing common areas, wider circulation spaces, better security and ever-changing technologies. Everyone can recall the hallways of mid 20th century designed schools being packed between classes while students are trying to use their lockers that were placed in the primary circulation space. Harassment of students in these tight quarters had become common occurrences by the late 1990's.
Security has become extra important recently in schools. The design of the school entrances, visitor's limited access, camera monitoring and layouts that can easily accommodate a "lock down" situation are all aspects that should be explored during design. Students, teachers and administrators all deserve to learn and work in a safe environment. Any school facility must be designed with technology in mind. Technologies have a big impact on the layout and configuration of teaching and administrative spaces in a school. We as Architects must plan to provide a campus environment where the facilities will be able to keep up with the changing technologies. Finally, the design of schools and educational facilities should be constructed of tough, long-lasting materials that are easy and economical for the school system to maintain and repair.