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Connecticut’s public schools have had to adapt to new forms and functions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, testing the physical and technological limits of elementary, middle, and high schools in every city and town. As the state’s school districts plan for their long-range capabilities, Connecticut-based Newman Architects, PC is about to supercharge its work in public school construction by forming a partnership with the DLR Group, an integrated design firm with a worldwide reach and a core of expertise in K-12 design.
“Newman/DLR Group is a game-changing team that offers Connecticut’s school districts our combination of in-state experience and visionary national expertise to reimagine today’s schools and design high-performing learning spaces,” said Newman’s Principal A. Brooks Fischer, who is leading the Newman/DLR Group collaboration.
In December, Newman/DLR Group was chosen by the Norwalk Public Schools district to refresh its Facilities Master Plan, with a mission to ensure that Norwalk’s current and future education facilities align with future enrollment trends, citywide demographic projections, curriculum plans, and program requirements, as well as identifying long-term maintenance needs.
“Every learning space can inspire and elevate the process of teaching and learning,” said Pamela Loeffelman, Senior Principal at DLR Group. “We are eager to begin our work evaluating the learning environment needs of each building and equipping Norwalk’s schools for their future instructional, technology, diversity, and equity needs.”
“The past decade has seen rapidly advancing trends that have reset the expectations of what Connecticut’s traditional ‘schoolhouse’ must deliver. Like Norwalk, cities, and towns across the state are planning for the long term, and we are proud to use our research-driven approach to help them meet their emerging goals and revitalize their facilities,” Fischer explained.
Newman/DLR Group’s Norwalk approach includes robust engagement with all of the city’s constituents—Board of Education, district staff, school administrators, teachers, students, and the broader school community—to ensure that the Facilities Plan equitably provides the settings for Norwalk’s future-oriented educational mission, for all of Norwalk’s neighborhoods and families.
“Newman/DLR Group is uniquely qualified to deliver a comprehensive Facilities Plan that will position the District for the next ten years in terms of facilities improvements,” stated Norwalk Board of Education Chief Financial Officer Thomas Hamilton in his memo reporting Newman/DLR Group’s unanimous selection.
Newman has a half-century of experience creating inspirational, nurturing learning environments – with more than 34 K-12 projects, 12,000 seats, and 3 million square feet of completed school projects. DLR Group is the visionary, research-informed, and data-driven national leader in school design and facilities master planning, with more than 1750 schools completed in over 30 states.