Petaluma, Calif. San Francisco Bay Area based FrontRowTM announces a new Smart Microphone and software for schools using its networked classroom and campus communication products. The second-generation Smart Microphone (ITM-02), available starting April 19, 2017, is both more powerful and more intelligent than its precursor and than any other similar product in the industry: with one touch of a button, it lets teachers send an emergency alert from the microphone and supports a chain of automated silent, visual, and verbal communications between the teacher and the team responding to the call for help.

The new school microphone is compatible with all FrontRow wireless infrared systems, but offers its fullest capabilities to customers using the ezRoom product line with the ICR-01 Smart Receiver and FrontRow’s paging and bells platform: Conductor.

“In a crisis, it’s not enough to be aware of a problem; we need to give schools ways to quickly respond to that problem,” says FrontRow’s Director of Product Management Sean Penn. “What we’re launching is really a recipe for successfully overcoming a panic situation.”

FrontRow’s system can be customized to fit individual schools’ emergency preparedness plans, for example:

A teacher can alert staff to a problem by holding down the easy-to-find button on the mic (FrontRow can also provide fixed-location buttons for the same purpose – for example, under a desk, on the wall, or in software).

Instantly, an alert would flash on school emergency response team’s computers and other visual and auditory alerts – strobes and attention tones – could activate in the front office as well. Optionally, signal beacons in neighboring teachers’ rooms would flash to give a silent “heads-up” that a fellow teacher is asking for help.

The response team would talk to or listen in on the room to determine the trouble. If the emergency warranted a full-scale campus alert, the team could trigger any of these from the Conductor console:

  • A lockdown
  • Medical alert
  • Other emergency scenario

These can combine a cascading series of automated actions including pre-recorded audio announcements, activation of digital displays to show evacuation routes, locking doors, and more.

“We want school leaders to know that technology can support their goals, whether it’s in student achievement, daily operations, or safety,” says Penn. “We’ve created a platform that helps them do all three without compromise.”

With G3 wireless technology, the new mic is immune to the interference, pairing, and privacy issues that can plague mics using a cordless-phone band or radio frequencies, recovering a voice or an alert signal in scenarios that would defeat other systems.

The ITM-02 microphone with updated software will begin shipping with ezRoom packages equipped with the ICR-01 Smart Receiver starting April 3, 2017.

About FrontRow

FrontRow’s technology helps schools communicate effortlessly with students, groups, and devices. Schools choose FrontRow for its easy-to-use products, better academic outcomes, and a safer, more efficient campus. FrontRow solutions include:

  • Classroom sound for media and teacher voice reinforcement
  • Automated lecture capture and distribution
  • AV control and management
  • Campus communication and control, including IP paging, intercom, bell scheduling, and automated emergency response

FrontRow is based in northern California, and is part of the William Demant Group. Founded in 1904 and listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange (CSE3247), William Demant comprises a group of international companies that develop, manufacture, and sell innovative and highly advanced technological solutions in the educational and hearing healthcare fields. Through 45 Group companies located in over 20 countries, consolidated sales exceed US$1.4 billion.

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Marcia Y. Barahona, Marketing Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Santa Maria, CA — Righetti High School recently broke ground on an exciting new three-story, thirty-eight-classroom building with a modern aesthetic that complements the campus’ original post-and-beam architecture. Designed by Rachlin Partners for Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, the new facility will provide a variety of collaborative, flexible, and multi-media classrooms to create 21st Century Learning Environments.

In addition to providing a state-of-the art facility that empowers teachers and students through interactive technology, the new classroom building serves as a landmark building to renew campus pride while providing functional campus improvements such as streamlined circulation throughout the school.

Attendees at the groundbreaking ceremony included: Dr. Mark Richardson; Superintendent Karen Rotondi, Principal, Righetti High School; Dr. Jack Garvin, Member, Board of Education; Dr. Carol Karamitsos, President, Board of Education; Dominick Palera, Member, Board of Education; and Diana Perez, Clerk, Board of Education.

“Righetti High School will now be poised to meet the evolutionary needs of a growing 21st Century academic environment,” says Michael Rachlin, AIA, Founding Partner of Rachlin Partners. “We have designed the site with a connective pathway to help guide students from the learning environment to the new sports environment, thereby creating a symbiotic relationship between both components of the school. It will be an important unifying element for the campus.”

Among the thirty-eight classrooms, twenty-nine are designed for general academic use in service of Math, English, and Health instruction. Four classrooms are designed to meet the needs of the school’s career pathway educational program. They will be housed in “Pathway Flex Rooms” that are intended for a variety of future uses and can be adapted to students’ interests as well as the District’s curricular requirements. One of the classrooms will specifically house digital arts and photography design, while the other three will accommodate flexible programming. The remaining five rooms are “Assessment Flex Rooms” with collapsible center walls that enable individual rooms to be combined into larger flexible spaces. This allows for use during large group assessments, evening assemblies, and other school functions. Floor-to-ceiling windows, sliding markerboards, and technological/multi-media components are additional features that make the classrooms dynamic and engaging educational spaces.

In addition to the innovative floor plan, the building will be constructed on a 60-degree angle to define a clear and accessible path of travel to the new practice gymnasium and sports complex. The pathway will unify different areas of the campus by encouraging circulation between the school’s North and South axes.

The $22 million project has an anticipated completion date of early 2019 and is a result of the 2004 Measure C Bond Program.

About Rachlin Partners:

Rachlin Partners is an award-winning, fully-integrated architecture, planning, and interior design firm with a distinct specialization in education and performing arts. Established in 1982 in Los Angeles, California, Rachlin Partners has expanded into one of the top 50 architecture firms in L.A. today, as named by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Educational projects include the award-winning Bonita Center for the Arts, recipient of a CASH - AIA/California Council Award of Excellence (2015); Gold Nugget Award, Best Educational Project (2015); and Los Angeles Business Council, Education Award (2015), among many other honors.  Rachlin Partners practices an architecture that is innovative and authentic. For more information visit:

Cleveland, Ohio – April 1, 2017 LEARNING BY DESIGN has released its much-anticipated Spring 2017 edition, showcasing the nation’s best education design and construction projects, from pre-K to 12 to college and university facilities. Three outstanding design projects were awarded Grand Prize in the Spring 2017 edition: Bassetti Architects, (Seattle, WA) for Arbor Heights School (Seattle, WA); Perkins Eastman, (Boston, MA) for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School (Cambridge, MA) and Stantec Architecture (Charlottesville, VA) for Frederick County Middle School (Winchester, VA).

The distinguished panel of seven architects, school and university planners, administrators and facility professionals reviewed 59 outstanding submissions and selected three Grand Prize Award-winning facilities that “are simply amazing projects” These three projects combine all the elements that make a learning environment successful—transparency, connectivity, safety, sustainability, great interiors, purposeful functional design, and sophistication.

LEARNING BY DESIGN commended Bassetti Architects for its success in designing the Arbor Heights School, a synthesis of the school’s pioneering Environmental Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (E-STEM) program.

The jury commented that "the design firm provided real measurable outcomes to understand the design philosophy to the needs of the school. The openness is appealing and inviting yet the smaller more individualized areas are refreshing and just as appealing.  One could easily see the mission of anytime learning being implemented through this facility.” The design supports the specific needs of 21st century learning; is cost and energy-efficient, highly flexible, durable, and sustainable; and will serve as a beacon for the community for generations to come.

Judges applauded Perkins Eastman fortheir design of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School a21st-century, technology-rich, learning environment that has become the center of the Cambridge Public Schools’ (CPS) community.

The Jury thought highly of this project especially pointing out that "the project makes a very strong case for its embodied innovations”. They particularly liked the many ways that the buildings construction is used as a teaching device. “The mission and messaging of the educational environment is clear and present engaging teaching and learning at all levels. The design of nooks and alcoves is impressive, personal, and invites learning sustainability measures are well conceived and implemented.  A thoughtful well-crafted design.  Love the exterior screen on the stair tower."

Jurors where extremely impressed by Stantec Architecture for its design of the Frederick County Middle School. This school is an aspirational student-centric vision that balanced the need for a practical, affordable, sustainable solution with current research on effective teaching and learning, adolescent brain science, nutrition, health and well-being.

The Jury comments about this project included: "Excellent overall design. The scale and finish of the break-out rooms is very welcoming.  Excellent use of outdoor space in between volumes. The project has defined goals and performing a post occupancy evaluation as part of the process is appreciated. Site lines and building layout are purposeful and meant to engage and protect. They really liked the open "book store/library" near the learning stair - nice feature." The wide variety of unique features integrated into the design of this project where organized around the themes of learning, sustainability, and wellness.




  • DLR Group (Minneapolis, MN) for Legacy High School (Bismarck, ND)      
  • Stantec Architecture (Houston, TX) for Robert R. Shaw Center for STEAM (Katy, TX)


  • Symmes Maini & McKee Associates (Cambridge, MA) for Bancroft Elementary School (Andover, MA)     


  • McGranahan Architects (Tacoma, WA) for Advanced Technology Center (Tacoma, WA) 


Spring 2017: HONORABLE MENTION Awards


  • Jones Whitsett Architects (Greenfield, MA) for Colesgrove Park Elementary School (North Adams, MA)


  • Studio Bondy Architecture (Oakland, CA) for Hilltop Spec School (Richmond, CA)

High Schools

  • Parkin Architects Limited (Ottawa, ON) for Tuugaalik High School (Naujaat, Nunavut CANADA)


  • Bryant University (Smithfield, RI) for Bryant University-Academic Innovation Center (Smithfield, RI)




LEARNING BY DESIGN, published in the Spring and Fall each year, circulates to more than 50,000 leaders and decision makers at all levels of education—from early childhood and elementary schools to career-technical, college, and university-level institutions. For details and to access the magazine’s digital edition, visit

DLA Architects, Ltd. in Itasca, Illinois, announces the promotion of Carrie Matlock as President following Bruce Dahlquist’s retirement.

 In 1993, Founders Bruce Dahlquist and Dwain Lutzow started planning for a smooth transition far before any thoughts on retirement. The two leaders believed in investing time in the next generation of architects rather than focusing only on today’s workload. That meant not only finding new business opportunities and expanding DLA’s portfolio but also devoting time to their team of next generation architects. In 1995, Carrie was hired at DLA (known then as Dahlquist and Lutzow Architects) as an architect intern, but it wasn’t long until she was promoted to the next level.

Soon after she was hired, Bruce and Dwain saw great potential in Carrie and took her under their wing. Their enthusiasm for teaching and mentoring and Carrie’s eagerness to learn led to her rapid growth. By 1997, she was promoted to job captain and soon after to project manager. By 2007, she became the first woman partner and vice president at DLA.

Carrie is LEED AP BD+C-credentialed, an Illinois School Code expert, NCARB Certified and is passionate about transforming buildings to help inspire learning.

DLA Architects’ unique differentiators are their culture of mentoring and the common values they share with their clients. DLA’s niche is in educational design for 21st-century learning. They excel at designing learning spaces that can shift from instruction to engagement to collaboration, which embodies DLA’s “form follows learning” design philosophy. Today, the firm has completed almost 5,000 education and recreation facility projects.

Six years ago Carrie began a tradition for DLA. Each year, the team takes a client to Learning Environments for Tomorrow (LEFT), a program jointly designed by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where they collaborate with educators and architects from around the world and ultimately learn more about the connection between the built environment and the educational delivery process. For DLA Architects, it’s a chance to educate their clients on how innovative design can enhance learning. During the early stages of transition, Carrie was given freedom to set a vision for the company as its president. Her goals are to: 

  • Become more intentional in designing DLA’s culture; make adjustments to internal and strategic operations.
  • Look at what DLA has done well and facilitate further improvements.
  • Grow into a national firm

 DLA Architects’ partners share the same vision for the firm. This March, when co-founder and CEO Dwain Lutzow announced that architect Ed Wright would be the firm’s seventh partner he said, “It’s been a year of transitions. What we pride ourselves on is mentoring for future leadership. We are constantly looking toward the future.”

“DLA Architects is built to self-sustain,” states Carrie. As was the plan all along, DLA is in good hands as the next generation of architects for 21st-century learning. 

PHILADELPHIA, PA (March 2017) - EwingCole, an award-winning architecture and engineering firm based in Philadelphia, has designed a $60,000,000 renovation to The Pavilion, home of the 2016 NCAA men’s basketball champion Villanova Wildcats.  EwingCole’s renderings of the new facility were revealed on March 8, at a ceremony held in conjunction with the Big East Basketball Tournament in New York City.  The renovated Pavilion is expected to begin in June 2017 and be completed for the start of the 2018-19 basketball season.

“It was important to Villanova that we celebrate the uniqueness of The Pavilion while creating an unmatched Division I basketball experience for the players and the fans,” said Bill McCullough, AIA, principal of EwingCole’s sports practice. “We worked closely with administrators, coaches, staff, and alumni to create a project that reimagines the arena into a world-class, basketball-centric facility all about fan experience.”

Upgrades to the two-story, 6,500-seat structure include a relocated main entrance, a completed concourse, and increased quality of premium offerings, seating, and amenities.  These modernizations will not only support Villanova’s men’s and women’s basketball programs but other University-wide events and programs.

According to McCullough, Villanova targeted several specific items for improvement. “Ultimately our goal was to significantly enhance fan experience, player and performer experience, andoperational efficiency within the Pavilion.”

The design of The Pavilion includes relocating the main entrance. This new entry sequence, at the southwest corner of the building, will allow the majority of patrons to enter the building closer to where they arrive and take advantage of the large area south of the main arena.

“A great experience begins as soon as the fan has left their primary mode of transportation,” said Kevin Murphy, RA, architect at EwingCole. “This project aims to improve the approach to the building by including an outdoor plaza for pre- and postgame activities, augmented by improved landscaping, site lighting, and site furniture.”

Once inside, fans will be greeted by a new lobby and hall of fame, with graphics and memorabilia celebrating the values and history of Villanova and its athletics program. Beyond the lobby, there will be a balcony “ring” overlooking the open court while above will be a new, 360-degree concourse activated with merchandise and concessions.  Additional improvements include:

  • Sports and accent lighting
  • State-of-the-art audio/visual
  • Elevated food service and retail
  • Upgraded locker rooms
  • Improved seating


Originally opened in 1986, The Pavilion, when complete, will be known as the Finneran Pavilion, in honor of Villanova alumnus William B. Finneran, and will be unsurpassed as one of the most fan-friendly, high technology arenas in the nation.

About EwingCole:

EwingCole, in practice for over 55 years, is a nationally recognized, fully integrated architecture, engineering, interior design, and planning firm of more than 350 professionals in Charlotte, Irvine, New York, Raleigh, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Our multi-disciplinary practice is built on the core values of professional excellence, design quality, and collaboration. Our goal is to provide the best total solution for our clients, the community, and the environment. For additional information, visit:


Architects Bill McCullough and Kevin Murphy are available for comment.  Contact Joseph Donahue, Director of Communications, (215) 625-4119This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Villanova University Athletics are available for comment. Contact Dean Kenefick, Associate Athletic Director for Communications, (610) 308-4395This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Volume 26/Spring 2017 

Check out the digital edition 

Review all Articles & 59 Award Winners:




05.17.2017 - 05.20.2017
AIA-CAE Spring 2017 Conference


7:00 pm 07.08.2017 - 8:00 pm 07.12.2017
SCUP 52nd Annual Conference

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