Using Design to Protect Students from the Unexpected

Violence has a long history in U.S. schools, with recorded incidences dating back to the early-20th century. More recently, the concept of active shooters armed with military-grade weapons has found a permanent home in the American landscape. And that is changing how schools are designed.

Russell Davidson, principal and president of KG+D Architects, in Mount Kisco, NY, and former president of the American Institute of Architects, said that AIA members have been designing for security for some time now. These days, however, lessons learned from military and embassy projects have made their way into planning for K-12 schools and religious facilities, in particular.

As schools increase their security, however, the challenge is to make students feel like they’re still in a school setting rather than a prison or military installation.

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