Do students want to return to campus during a COVID-19 surge?

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared online on the OneClass blog, and is reposted here with permission. 

For college students and their families, a big question looms as to how schools will balance safety with education quality. But even as the fall semester approaches, the number of coronavirus cases is rising.

How does the change in COVID-19 cases affect student opinions about the upcoming fall semester?

To find out, we surveyed thousands of college students from across the country. They shared insight into what they think is a safe course of action for the upcoming fall semester.

Should College Campuses Reopen While COVID-19 Cases Are Rising?

A OneClass survey of 18,190 college students asked how students felt about returning to campus while COVID-19 cases are increasing. Respondents are all entering their freshman, sophomore or junior years at one of the 241 colleges and universities included in the survey.

Related content: Reimagining the campus experience in the age of COVID-19

For 74.9 percent of students, studying on campus is risky during COVID-19. These students are concerned about their safety and will only feel comfortable if effective protective measures are in place, or they will not be returning to campus while there is a risk of an outbreak. Just one-quarter of students say they will feel secure on campus no matter what.

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LenelS2 Announces NetBox Version 5.3, Supporting BlueDiamond Touchless Access

LenelS2 today announced the release of LenelS2 NetBoxä Version 5.3 access control software that brings complete BlueDiamondä support to the NetBox ecosystem as well as expanded support for ASSA ABLOY and Allegion products. LenelS2, a global leader in advanced security systems and services, is a part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), a leading global provider of innovative heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies.

NetBox users can now provision and manage BlueDiamond mobile and physical credentials directly through the NetBox browser-based administration interface. Industry-leading BlueDiamond mobile credentialing technology eliminates a number of traditional access touchpoints for building occupants and is one of the many LenelS2 solutions offered as part of Carrier’s Healthy Buildings Program.

“Further integrating NetBox with BlueDiamond makes it easier than ever for NetBox users to provide enhanced security and convenience as well as help to create healthier, safer work spaces for employees,” said Jeff Stanek, president, LenelS2. “We are also excited to expand NetBox market applications through new integrations with ASSA ABLOY and Allegion products.”

NetBox Version 5.3 delivers support for a range of ASSA ABLOY AperioÒ wireless locks, broadening the portfolio of native NetBox integrations with ASSA ABLOY products. Because Aperio locks do not require door wiring, they are fast and easy to install. The wireless communication between the lock and an Aperio hub enables real-time communication with NetBox for enhanced security and control. Supported Aperio locks include the IN100 series, HES KS100 server cabinet lock, Securitron R100 card reader and HES K100 cabinet lock. The Aperio solution was developed on an open standard, making it easy to integrate with a variety of openings.

NetBox Version 5.3 also supports seamless provisioning of Allegion SchlageÒ No-Tour offline smart deadbolts for multi-tenant housing, using the LenelS2 Installer mobile application. This eliminates the need for property staff to visit a lock when replacing a credential, saving time and increasing operational efficiency. Instead, when a cardholder presents a smart credential to the lock, the lock is updated with access control data that has been programmed on the credential using NetBox.

For more information, visit LenelS2.com.

 

About LenelS2

LenelS2 is a global leader in advanced physical security solutions, including access control, video surveillance and mobile credentialing. Our technology includes web-based and mobile applications enhanced by cloud-based services. Incorporating open architecture, LenelS2 provides scalable, unified security management solutions to customers ranging from global enterprises to small- and mid-size businesses. Easy to install and use, LenelS2 products are supported by an experienced, responsive team dedicated to providing exceptional service. LenelS2 serves segments worldwide including corporate, education, healthcare and government. LenelS2 is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a leading global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. For more information, visit LenelS2.com or follow LenelS2 on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Cengage and Ivy Tech Community College Partner to Save Students Money on Textbooks and Course Materials

Ivy Tech Community College, the largest public postsecondary institution in Indiana and the largest singly-accredited statewide community college system in the country, has partnered with Cengage to provide all 90,000 students at more than 40 locations across Indiana, as well as online, with day-one access to textbooks and course materials through Cengage Unlimited. Cengage will also provide academic services and professional development to Ivy Tech administration and faculty to facilitate hybrid and online teaching.

Cengage, the largest U.S.-based education and technology company serving the college market, provides course materials to almost half of the 20 million students pursuing higher education in the U.S.

“Ivy Tech faculty have always embraced innovative strategies such as online learning and eight-week courses. Our partnership with Cengage is another example of that innovation as it is providing enhanced faculty academic freedom in choice of course materials, while simultaneously reducing the financial burden and time burden for students to get course materials. This is yet another way that our faculty continue to meet students where they are and support their success in any way possible,” said Kara Monroe, Senior Vice President and Provost at Ivy Tech.

The cost of course materials is a top financial stress for students, according to a recent Morning Consult survey. Previously, Ivy Tech students spent on average more than $1400 annually on textbooks. Following the agreement with Cengage, Ivy Tech students whose courses use Cengage won’t have to pay for textbooks this academic year.

“Research suggests that more than a quarter of community college students don’t purchase books, typically, because they have other more pressing financial needs as many are low income, working in low wage jobs, and shouldering family responsibilities.  And those statistics were pre-COVID. We are pleased to partner with Cengage in offering free course materials across the college helping reduce the financial strain on tens of thousands of Ivy Tech students.” said Sue Ellspermann President at Ivy Tech.

Ivy Tech used funding allocated to the institution under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide students with Cengage materials. The Cengage Unlimited content license model made it easy for Ivy Tech to acquire learning materials across courses, while also providing greater value for students.

“Too many students around the country have struggled for too long with cost being a barrier to education. Covid-19 has only accelerated this struggle,” said Michael E. Hansen, CEO, Cengage. “At the same time, higher education institutions are under greater pressure than ever before to lower the cost of college and adapt to new learning models while facing budget cuts and enrollment uncertainty.

“Ivy Tech and Cengage are coming together in this pioneering partnership to give students access to a wide variety of high quality, affordable learning materials that are designed to be used whether teaching is in-person, online or in a hybrid model. We’re impressed by Ivy Tech’s vision and shared commitment to quality and affordability,” continued Hansen.

Students will be able to access their Cengage course materials through the university learning management system starting on the first day of class. Students who also want print materials can rent up to four free hardcopy textbooks, with a limited shipping cost for each. Ivy Tech’s bookstore partner, Barnes & Noble Education, is facilitating the distribution of Cengage Unlimited.

Cengage Unlimited gives students access to more than 22,000 products, including eTextbooks, online homework platforms, study guides, and college success and career support.

Institutions deliver Cengage Unlimited at scale through a model called Cengage Unlimited for Institutions. Ivy Tech is one of more than 100 higher education institutions that have partnered with Cengage to provide course materials at scale through a content license model. The license model delivers value based on an institution’s unique implementation and enrollment needs. In addition to affordable student access to eTextbooks and award-winning digital learning platforms, Cengage Unlimited for Institutions offers scalable academic services to help administrators make the transition to hybrid or online learning, as well as new professional development resources to help faculty teach online.

More than 2.2 million U.S. college students have subscribed to Cengage Unlimited, and they’ve saved more than $200 million on course materials. For more information, visit: www.cengage.com/unlimited-institutional.

 

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

About Cengage

Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. As the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher ed, we offer valuable options at affordable price points. Our industry-leading initiatives include Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind all-access digital subscription service.  We embrace innovation to create learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. Headquartered in Boston, Cengage also serves K-12, library and workforce training markets around the world. Visit us at www.cengage.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter. 

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Teradata University for Academics Expands Data and Analytic Training; Offers Hands-on, Educational Access to Vantage

Teradata (NYSE: TDC), the cloud data and analytics company, today announced a significant expansion of the Teradata University for Academics program, ensuring that students looking to build careers in the growing big data and analytics marketplace are fully prepared and already familiar with the leading data analytics platform, Teradata Vantage.

The Teradata University for Academics program, which for twenty years has provided access to Teradata technology and resources for schools who opt into the curriculum, is now offering complimentary technical education for anyone in the academic community – regardless of their association with Teradata. Also expanded is the coursework offered from Teradata, which now includes more than 145 hours of online technical training. These on-demand web-based courses, which can be taken for free as part of any university syllabus, include lab simulations and certification programs meant to teach both basic and advanced skills in SQL, Machine Learning, Automation and more. Popular courses include Teradata SQL, Big Data Concepts, Breaking the Language Barrier: When to Use Python, R and SQL, and Introduction to Data Science Process.

In addition to this unprecedented access to technical training, Teradata is also announcing an expanded partnership with the University of Arkansas to allow students and faculty from any university, worldwide, to gain hands-on experience with Teradata Vantage.

“While the decades-long partnership between Teradata and the University of Arkansas has always focused on preparing students for careers in big data, the resources we are now able to provide are truly unique for a university setting,” said Dr. Ron Freeze at the University of Arkansas. “We pride ourselves on turning out students that are not only educated in the theory of data and analytics, but who can also hit the ground running with real-world experience and insight. Offering this enviable academic opportunity to faculty and students from other colleges and universities is our pleasure.”

Teradata recently donated a new, state-of-the-art Vantage platform to the University of Arkansas, who agreed to provide direct, hosted access to the platform for tens of thousands of students from hundreds of colleges and universities. This is an expansion of the existing Teradata University for Academics program, whose most active participants hail from a wide variety of colleges worldwide, from Duke University and Oklahoma State University, to NIDA in Thailand.

“Teradata’s customers are some of the largest, most visionary companies in the world and they run their businesses on data. Nearly all of them need more data scientists and analytics experts, so we’re doing our part to make an education in data and analytics easily accessible,” said Susan Baskin, Director of Global Customer Education and Teradata University for Academics. “Our long-term partnership with the University of Arkansas is critical to that education because it provides the real-world experience that students need and companies value. When a graduate can lean on their practical experiences of using Vantage in the classroom – and showcase their certification to prove it – it heightens their market appeal while also making it easier for our customers to hire the qualified talent they need.”

To augment the practical experience of the program, Teradata also partners with the University of Arkansas to provide curated and anonymized data sets from companies such as Sam’s Club and Dillard’s. Available for free — courtesy of strong relationships cultivated by the University of Arkansas — students access, work with, and find insights using these real-world, massive data sets in the Teradata Vantage platform, ensuring that their academic experience can easily translate to a real-world setting.

About University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

 About Teradata 

Teradata transforms how businesses work and people live through the power of data. Teradata leverages all of the data, all of the time, so you can analyze anything, deploy anywhere and deliver analytics that matter. We call this pervasive data intelligence, powered by the cloud. And it’s the answer to the complexity, cost and inadequacy of today’s approach to analytics. Get the answer at teradata.com.

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Is face-to-face learning better than online learning?

Much of the recent argument raging about reopening schools rests on the quality of online instruction. That’s understandable. However, there’s much about online instruction that remains misunderstood. It’s time to change that…

In my 50-year teaching career, I had the opportunity to create and teach online courses, an experience that sheds light on this debate. For starters, I can attest to that the quality of online instruction will improve as instructors and students become more familiar with it and engage with it more, and that if a program is a bit awkward at first, that awkward or clunky nature shouldn’t be used as a reason to physically reopen schools.

Related content: 4 recommendations for online learning in the fall

When the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business decided to offer an Online MBA degree, our first priority was to create the highest quality program possible. To achieve this goal, we built the online MBA program to feature weekend residence sessions at the beginning and end of each term, and synchronous video classes for each course. Synchronous video is like a Zoom conference.

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How universities are innovating to tackle higher education’s affordability crisis

Higher education is facing an affordability crisis. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the majority of Americans believe that college is not affordable. The global pandemic has caused financial difficulties for even more students and their families, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. As a result, higher education institutions are being challenged with finding ways to make postsecondary education more affordable, while also remaining competitive and delivering a high-quality product to students.

One way in which universities are trying to tackle this challenge is by experimenting with innovative alternative pricing models. For example, at the end of last year Penn State established its Tuition Task Force, a committee made up of university stakeholders from various areas dedicated to finding solutions to problems in affordability, accessibility, and sustainability. The group is looking into ways to better serve all students by restructuring the institution’s tuition model.

Related content: Overcoming skepticism in higher education

Tuition discounting is another practice that many private nonprofit schools are using to increase access for low-income students. The practice allows universities to offer greater assistance to students while maintaining the value that is inherently associated with more expensive institutions in the minds of many. In some states, students and their families are able to “lock-in” their tuition rate years ahead of their intended attendance, which enables them to better plan for their futures.

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Virtual Cybersecurity Program Creating Economic Opportunities for The Lost Einsteins of America

Spark Mindset Inc today announced the launch of their CyberSpace Virtual Academy Program, an online education service that prepares 6th- 12th grade students for a career in cybersecurity starting September 14, 2020. Spark Mindset CyberSpace Academy High School Program is a two year virtual or hybrid program that prepares high school students for cybersecurity careers or a pathway to a 2 or 4 year college. Spark Mindset CyberSpace Academy Middle School Program is a one year virtual or hybrid enrichment or after-school program that prepares middle school students for a high school cybersecurity program. Our modules are thought-provoking and engaging and build your child’s confidence to become a self-regulated learner who can excel in a remote learning space. We also believe in the importance of connections, both adult-to-student and student-to-student. Relationship building and belonging are core components at the start of students’ time with Spark Mindset.

“Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing STEM career fields,” said Lawrence Wagner, Spark Mindset CEO and Co-founder. “Due to COVID-19, many companies are having their employees work remotely, and we are creating solutions to prepare their children to work in this new environment.”

The average Cybersecurity Analyst makes $78,000 annually, and the cybersecurity industry will have an estimated compound annual growth rate of 11.9 and a market size of 258 billion by 2025. With the rapid growth of the cybersecurity industry, there remains a talent shortage and lack of diversity. Currently, minorities make up 26% of the cybersecurity field, while women represent 14% of this field. There will be 3.5 million unfilled jobs by 2021. “If you want to see more minorities in cybersecurity, you have to begin the talent pipeline at a young age,” explained Wagner. “And if children are going to use their devices more this summer, you might as well give them an opportunity for a bright future.”

For every child registered, a portion of the tuition goes towards a minority from a school in an underserved community. You can register for the for CyberSpace Academy Virtual High School Program – https://www.sparkmindset.com/high-school

About Spark Mindset, Inc.: Spark Mindset offers educational programs to give kids – particularly kids of color and girls – opportunities to learn and earn credentials in the field of cybersecurity. Beyond enriching in-school and out-of-school time through game-based learning, Spark Mindset creates opportunities for economic mobility by increasing the number of kids of color and girls in a rapidly growing tech field.

For more information, visit https://www.sparkmindset.com/

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GSU Launches New Academic Video Platform

Louisiana HBCU partners with Echo360 to roll out new teaching platform with remote video instruction and student engagement capabilities for its classroom, hybrid and remote learning offerings

Grambling State University, Louisiana’s top producer of Computer Information Science graduates, today announced a new pandemic-proof learning initiative to provide faculty and students with engaging, active learning experiences regardless of whether they are in-person or remote.

As part of its hybrid learning plan for the fall semester, the university is partnering with Echo360 — the award-winning video platform designed specifically for higher education — to enable faculty to easily record, stream, and share video content, and provide students with tools to engage more deeply with their course material.

“During an uncertain academic year, our community will need to navigate new types of challenges whether they are taking classes in-person, online, or both. While classes will have different formats, we want to ensure that our students and faculty have the best possible teaching and learning experience regardless of how the instruction is taking place,” said Eldrie B. Hamilton at Grambling State University. “By partnering with Echo360, we can provide our students with a platform specifically designed for education that will create active learning moments in the classroom and beyond.”

With the adoption of the Echo360 platform, Grambling State students will have access to features and tools to facilitate active learning experiences that improve student outcomes. As students participate in class — whether virtually or in-person — and watch recorded learning content, they can notify instructors that a specific moment is confusing, share questions and discuss course content with their peers, take notes time-synched to the lecture, and respond to quizzes and polls to provide immediate opportunities to test their knowledge.

With the Echo360 platform’s Universal Capture tool, Grambling State faculty can use a single application and interface for recording the screen of their personal device, as well as for scheduled and on-demand lecture capture, regardless of whether they use a Windows or Mac device. Additionally, they can use the platform’s analytics to better understand how students interact with course content and identify students that may be struggling and at risk of falling behind.

“When discussing colleges and universities’ COVID-19 responses, it’s understandable — and often appropriate — to focus entirely on online learning. However, we can’t allow ourselves to overlook the experience of students enrolled in hybrid and in-person courses, and try to solve the new problems posed by COVID-19 with old solutions,” said Fred Singer, CEO of Echo360. “Institutions that can offer in-person or hybrid courses in the coming fall and spring semester should look to Grambling State as a model of a university that is using technology to enhance the experience of all students whether they are in-person, hybrid, or online students.”

Grambling State students, administrators, and faculty will have access to the Echo360 platform in August 2020.

About Echo360
Echo360 believes that improved outcomes start with great moments in the classroom. Developed by educators, Echo360 helps instructors record and extend those moments to improve learner engagement through accessible, engaging video-based learning. Through our smarter video platform, learners and instructors have 24/7 access to discussion of course material, presentation materials, and the lecture itself. We generate data that helps instructors, higher education institutions, and continuing education organizations proactively identify and pursue opportunities to improve learning outcomes. Today, Echo360 technologies reach more than two million learners at approximately 1,200 schools and organizations across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific.

About Grambling State University
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.

For more information, visit gram.edu.

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Black Box Makes the IoT Building a Reality With Its Connected Buildings Solution

Black Box, a global solutions integrator, today introduced Connected Buildings — a suite of solutions and services that enable digital experiences in smart, IoT buildings. Black Box designs, deploys, manages and maintains the foundational technology that connects the internal ecosystem of interoperable devices and sensors that work together to enable human-to-human, human-to-device and device-to-device interaction. Black Box’s Connected Buildings services modernize IT infrastructure, solve in-building connectivity challenges and link clients’ devices at locations around the world.

“Demand for the IoT building is growing exponentially. Now more than ever, our customers need spaces that are interactive, adaptive, automated and secure,” said Doug Oathout, senior vice president, Portfolio and Partnerships, Black Box. “At Black Box, we apply our broad portfolio of IT solutions to take the complexity out of connected buildings and make it simple for our customers by giving them one trusted partner to handle their IT services. Whether updating hundreds of existing locations or outfitting one location from the ground up, our team of project managers, engineers and technicians works with our clients to craft a solution that creates consistent customer experiences and reliable communications at every location.”

The Black Box Connected Building is enabled by several faster, more robust technologies: 5G/CBRS and Wi-Fi to augment existing wireless systems and create fully connected buildings; edge networking and data centers to collect data where it’s created and combine it with AI to make smarter devices; and cybersecurity for governance and assessments, incident and event monitoring, endpoint detection and response, and VPN and firewall services.

The Connected Building service offering includes assessment, consulting and project management, coupled with on-site services for configuration, staging, installation and logistics. Black Box accomplishes this with four solution offerings:

  • Multisite Deployments. The Black Box team is able to handle large-scale national/global installations and provide uniform IT at hundreds or thousands of sites.
  • IoT Deployments. The explosion in IoT solutions is enhancing the user experience for both customers and colleagues. The Black Box team can supply and install cameras, digital signage, POS, sensors and other in-building IoT technologies.
  • Structured Cabling and Networking to enable the seamless digital experience that is the true foundation of the Black Box Connected Building. The Black Box team will ensure that clients have the infrastructure necessary to support future bandwidth requirements.
  • Digital Transformation for seamless user experiences. With thousands of certifications and technicians, Black Box can manage the implementations and deployments that drive global transformation.

“With Connected Buildings, our role is to simplify IT for our clients — especially in complex enterprises and when they have little or no remote IT support — all while helping them meet the device deployment challenges inherent in digital transformation,” Oathout added. “The results speak for themselves: IT operations managers who have chosen Black Box as their digital transformation partner have cut project costs by more than 33%, slashed the time for retrofitting existing locations from years to months, and experienced the same high-quality results whether they’re based in Mexico City; Mumbai, India; or Memphis, Tennessee.”

Further information about Black Box and the company’s Connected Buildings solutions is available at www.bboxservices.com.

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About Black Box
With more than 40 years of experience connecting people and devices, Black Box is dedicated to helping customers embrace the IoT future by ensuring business continuity and accelerating digital transformation. As a trusted solutions integration partner, Black Box designs, deploys, manages and maintains a full range of technologies that support Connected Buildings, a Digital Workplace and Customer Experience. With deep expertise in 5G, edge networking, data centres and cybersecurity, the Black Box team delivers secure, consistent and latency-free connectivity to enterprises of all sizes and scopes.

Black Box Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of AGC Networks Limited. To learn more, visit the Black Box website at www.blackbox.com.

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Kaplan Construction & StudioMLA Architects Complete Boston University Children’s Center

Kaplan Construction, a WBE general contractor and construction management firm providing comprehensive building programs across Greater Boston, and studioMLA Architects, an architecture, landscape and interior design firm that consistently provides clients with innovative, cost-effective, high quality design, and makes a positive impact on organizations and communities, today announced the completion of renovations to an existing historic 17,000 SF house and the construction of a 3,000 SF addition to create an expanded Children’s Center for Boston University (BU) at 10 Lenox Street in Brookline, Mass. Designed by studioMLA Architects, the project integrated 21st century technology and sustainability through high-performance building systems, healthy materials and indoor environments, while at the same time respecting the historical integrity of the original mansion. Targeting LEED Gold certification, the full-time early childhood education program can now accommodate 92 children across seven classrooms and will begin welcoming families this month.

With a goal of tripling the size of the former center, a three-car garage was demolished to make way for a 3,000 SF addition to the existing Tudor revival style mansion. The two-story addition features a reception area, dedicated toddler room, and pre-K classroom. The existing mansion required major structural upgrades and Kaplan spent two months bolstering the original framing to meet current building codes. New columns and footings were added to support the installation of an elevator, which serves as the connecting point between the addition and the 100-year old house. Per the guidelines of the Brookline Preservation Commission and the Town of Brookline, several features of the original building were preserved and restored to retain the historical character of the site. The house also received new utility services, and all new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems. The renovated house now accommodates five classrooms, an open concept infant/toddler living room, and a third floor dedicated to administrative use.

Designed to be harmonious with the neighborhood and existing house, two playgrounds were built to complement the indoor learning space. A backyard playground features climbing structures, reading nook with tree stump seats, sandboxes, tree deck, learning garden, and bike path. Several mature shade trees were protected and saved, establishing a backyard feel and a combination of natural and manufactured play spaces that both challenge and excite were installed. A one-story garage located adjacent to the garden was converted into an auxiliary classroom featuring sensory stations and a greenhouse. An additional infant play space was built on a restored historical porch, abutting a quiet residential street.

“We are excited to provide our faculty and staff with first-rate childcare services adjacent to campus in our new Children’s Center, enabling us to recruit and retain high quality faculty and staff,” said Walt Meissner, associate vice president of operations at Boston University. “Kaplan Construction, studioMLA Architects, and our OPM, Stantec, managed a complicated renovation and addition through the COVID-19 pandemic with true professionalism and without impacting the schedule. Thanks to them, we were be able to welcome children in August.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in March, Kaplan worked closely with BU, the Town of Brookline, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to implement a site-specific safety plan to comply with ever-changing regulations. Access to the project site was limited to one entrance/egress and temperatures were taken anytime someone entered the site. Kaplan installed additional hand-washing stations and had the site disinfected nightly. Considered an essential project, the construction continued uninterrupted through project completion.

Kaplan has worked on both new construction and renovation projects for institutions of higher education such as Northeastern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston College (BC), Lasell College, and the New England Institute of Art.

The project team members for the Children’s Center project include:

  • Owner: Boston University
  • Owner’s Representative: Stantec
  • Construction Manager: Kaplan Construction
  • Architect/Landscape Architect: studioMLA Architects
  • Structural Engineer: Foley Buhl Roberts & Associates, Inc.
  • Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection Engineer: Garcia Galuska Desousa Consulting Engineers
  • Civil Engineer: Nitsch Engineering

About Kaplan Construction

Kaplan Construction is a general contractor and construction management company that provides comprehensive building programs including preconstruction planning, construction management, design-build services, and general construction for commercial, healthcare, multi-family, worship, and institutional clients. Serving Greater Boston since 1976, the company’s proactive approach features lean building techniques and integrated project delivery (IPD) that often realize substantial cost savings and earlier completion dates for its clients, while its dedication to safety far surpasses industry standards. For more information, please visit www.kaplanconstructs.com.

About studioMLA Architects

studioMLA Architects is an architecture, landscape, and interior design firm located in Brookline, MA that values innovative, cost-effective, high quality design. With over 30 years of expertise in the field of children’s indoor and outdoor learning environments, K-12 schools, youth and community centers, museums, parks and residential projects, studioMLA Architects has worked with a wide range of clients nationally and internationally, in the private, nonprofit and institutional sectors. StudioMLA Architects is recognized as a leader in the integration of sustainable design and natural spaces in support of community goals. For more information, please visit http://studiomla.com/.

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