There are always mixed feelings when it is time to go back to school.The kids are excited about seeing old friends and nervous about whom they will sit with at lunch and if they will miss the bus. The most fun for architect parents is the purchasing of fresh school supplies.There is nothing quite like a new pen and a fresh pad of paper.

As a school architect, it is often a time to exhale, as we finish up summer construction projects and open the doors of new facilities. Every time we finish a new school and attend a dedication ceremony, I am reminded of all the lives we impact with our work. I think back to my time in K-12 schools and the lack of flexibility and options available to me to support my learning style.There is a constant flow of students through our school buildings. As one grade level graduates each year, a fresh group enters to fill the void they left. The impact of good design in schools is immeasurable, but I like trying to wrap my head around it.

Students spend 180 days per year in school; that is 1,260 hours or 75,600 minutes.This fall, VLK is opening 15 new school facilities, comprised of over 1.3 million square feet of space and serving nearly 10,000 students. That calculates to 70,000 hours of instruction per day will happen in just the new schools we opened this year! If you apply these numbers to include all the projects we have designed over the past 30 years, it is humbling to see the tremendous impact we have with our work and we are honored that our clients trust us with this responsibility.