May 8, 2020

NBC Dallas: Universities Turn to Designers on How to Reopen Campus Safely

Colleges and universities have unique decisions ahead of them as they look to return to campus this fall. NBC5 in Dallas recently interviewed Don Hensley, our Director of Texas Education Strategy, on how these institutions are turning to design firms for guidance.

In the video and web story, Don shares numerous insights around how higher education can work to implement physical distancing standards, utilize outdoor spaces on campus, and even use temporary and modular units.

“You’ll see occupancy changes just like you’re seeing in restaurants, where there will be fewer students in a classroom,” Don explains in the piece.

Later he adds, “there are institutions talking about how they can enhance their landscaped outdoor environments in a more efficient and effective way to allow people to be present (on campus this fall).”

Don also offers that many colleges and universities are considering “What would a pop-up outside a classroom look like? How do you move it, tear it down? How permanent should it be, what is it made of? How many people can it accommodate? These are the ideas being discussed.”

Don’s insight stems from ongoing discussions our Education practice is having with higher ed and K-12 institutions across the country about returning to school this fall. While there are numerous unknowns, it is clear each school requires a customized approach when it comes to housing students, academic life, campus wayfinding and much more.

The NBC5 story also highlights CannonDesign’s extensive education work in Dallas and Texas. We recently helped Texas Woman’s University renovate its Hubbard Hall as a new student union and have designed library, academic and recreation spaces for Texas Christian University.

See how we’re helping clients prepare for life after COVID-19 >