AIA Virginia Grabs Seat at the Table with Legislators on School Safety Discussion
In light of recent school shootings, the Select Committee on School Safety was formed by House Speaker Kirk Cox [R-66th District] in May of this year. This is the first select committee formed in the House in 155 years. Speaker Cox shared that the scope of the Committee is to evaluate strengthening emergency preparedness, hardening school security infrastructure, implementing security best practices, deploying additional security personnel, providing additional behavioral health resources for students, and developing prevention protocols at primary and secondary institutions across the Commonwealth. The committee must complete its work by November 15 and produce a final report containing recommendations for the 2019 General Assembly no later than December 15, 2018. In order to accomplish its work, the Committee has been divided into three Subcommittees that will study the following focus area: Prevention, Mental Health, and Infrastructure and Security.
As architects, each and every one of you are a valuable resource to this conversation. Communities are shaped by the design decisions we make. We are privileged to be tasked by the Commonwealth with the responsibility to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the public as we design the structures in which our community members live, work and play.
With the support of Delegate David Toscano [D-57th District], Delegate Christopher Peace [R- 97th District], and Delegate Nick Rush [R – 7th District], AIA Virginia has been requested to present to the Infrastructure and Security Subcommittee on Friday, August 17 in Richmond. The Subcommittee is interested in hearing from architects the following:
• What happens in each design phase?
• How do architects design for all hazards (i.e. fire, natural disaster, active shooter, etc.)?
• What is the history and evolution of school design over time?
• What are the current trends in school design?
• What do architects consider when taking on a new construction project vs. renovation?
• What are legislators in other states doing on this issue?
Two of our members who are experts in school design have stepped up to give the presentation. One will be AIA Virginia Immediate Past President, Bill Brown, AIA and the other is sitting AIA Central Virginia President, Rob Winstead, AIA. In practice, Bill is a Vice President at Moseley Architects in Fairfax and Rob is a Principal at VMDO Architects in Charlottesville.
I’m asking that you please make a contribution to www.aiavapac.org. No amount is too small or too large. Help us have a seat at the table as the voice of the ARCHITECT.
Corey Clayborne, Executive Vice President of AIA Virginia, firstname.lastname@example.org