Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Posts Tagged ‘Facilities Planning

Questions about facilities design abound in discussion groups. Will media centers, as we know them, be built twenty years from now? Will trends of classroom and mobile technology make physical space irrelevant? Continuing and rapid changes in program staffing, program delivery and technology are a given; making it challenging to design a facility to meet future program needs.  Design Concepts for the Next-Gen Media Center,  a new experience based article on facilities design is in the March/April Internet @ Schools. (Visit  my Facilities design page for the full article)

If you are planning a new facility consider using Floorplanner. A tech savvy media specialist just shared her Floorplanner media center designs and made them avaialable for Flickr sharing here. Take a look at her drawing and 3D version.

What a great tool for planning or  for showcasing the layout of a media center on your media center web site or blog.   One of the highlights of online teaching is learning from the sharing that goes on.  Learning about Floorplanner is one more wonderful example.  It would have been a fantastic alternative to graph paper and the post-it notes used in the past.

Inquires about designing  media centers are frequent in  my email and in discussion groups  A recent LM_NET inquiry asked about designing a  media center of the future and ensuring viability. I’ve been thinking a lot about the new or remodeled facilities my former district invested heavily in this past decade.

Will the “state-of-the-art” media centers we designed and built serve the needs of student’s forty years from now or will they be as outdated as the forty year-old facilities we abandoned?  We already know sWinona Sr. High Media Center Lakeview Labome labs are too small and that there are not enough computers in secondary media centers.  Elementary facilities could use more small group space.  Will mobile devices and expanded wireless make labs totally obsolete? Can secondary media centers reduce the space needed for print?  What  substantial investment made in hardware, infrastructure, furnishings and collection improvements pay off in student achievement?   Will these facilities be maintained, updated and enhanced in this era of budget decline and considerably fewer media specialists?   There’s much to consider in a time of technology change and education reform.

The Media Center Facilities Design page has links to several published articles.

You can never be too rich, too thin . . . or have too many electrical outlets.

Or, so we thought when we planned a new media center.  100 computers, a fantastic view, cozy seating, but not enough electrical outlets in the non-lab areas.    Almost 4 years later those little post-it notes saying  OUTLET are still intact!  Another example of the ongoing need to explain and the need to always be prepared with an explanation.


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