Publisher’s Message: September 2020

Anastasia Barnes

September is our bi-annual focus on education facilities, and while COVID-19 has presented its fair share of challenges, our community has risen to the occasion.

This month, the Construction Institute editorial team submitted an article that discusses the Green Schoolyards of America initiative. The initiative promotes a new pro bono landscape design assistance program called COVID-19 Emergency Schoolyard Design Volunteers, which matches schools with landscape architects. Read the article on page 18.

Maine public schools are also adapting with an initiative created to offer outdoor learning to their students to promote social distancing as schools reopen. Turn to page 22 to learn more.

I miss human interaction. Don’t you? I miss being in a room full of other people wondering who I’m going to approach first to say hello and connect with. Until that day comes again, there are some very cool events coming up that, yes, are virtual…but still…we’re talking to humans!

SMPS Northern New England has an event on Sept. 15 that is on the state of the economy that I know will bring a big crowd. I’m excited for this year’s Visionaries Forum that the Construction Institute hosts every year. That’s at the end of the month. I’m on Zoom more than ever. Seeing people’s faces still allows us to connect, even though we all can’t wait to get back to those in-person events as fast as we can!

October is our annual focus on interiors and corporate workspaces. It’s also the month that we will feature IIDA New England and ABC Connecticut Excellence in Construction Awards. Both awards will be virtual this year.

Let’s connect folks! Shout at me online. Email me. Give me a call. Just today I got a call from Heather Taylor of Phillips Exeter Academy touching base about SCUP North Atlantic’s shift to virtual events. I was so pleased to hear her voice on the other end. No one calls anymore, but I do…and so does Heather Taylor. Read her article on page 10.

I’m jazzed to release our next season of the Build Better podcast. The first four episodes highlight a variety of women in design that are making a big impact on this industry. We kick off season two with Trahan Architects’ director of strategy, Julia Gamolina. Julia is also the founder and editorial director of an amazing platform that highlights women in all facets of architecture called MadameArchitect.org. I highly recommend you check it out.  We’ll be releasing our upcoming season on Sept. 8. Tune in!

I’m grateful for this community of professionals who continue to find solutions and create ways to connect with each other.

Enjoy the read.

Anastasia Barnes

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