With renovations, additions, and new construction for six buildings, the renewed Bristol County Agricultural High School campus represents a significant investment in career technical education, sustainability, and the surrounding community. In an article for Techniques, a publication by the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE), HMFH Senior Principal Laura Wernick outlines three distinct steps used throughout the design process to incorporate input from all stakeholders and ensure the long-term success of this public career technical school project.
“1. Facilitate an inclusive visioning process
Solicit active participation from staff, students, families, and community members. Because diverse perspectives are so important. Finding time that works for all parties can be a challenge, but it’s possible with careful planning.
2. Collaborate on design decisions
With goals established, the project team asked: How can we turn the design process into a learning opportunity for students? And they worked in collaboration with faculty to make it happen. Bristol Aggie students participated in several different ways, which reinforced their academic work and helped create a sense of agency.
3. Augment faculty and architect expertise when needed
Substantial project benefits were realized by bringing in outside experts from a variety of disciplines to consult on the design of the new school.
Bristol Aggie is home to community-based activities that use the campus throughout the year. Agricultural groups such as 4H and the regional Beekeepers Association meet regularly in the school, so their input was valuable. Including local groups such as these in the process of high-quality CTE facility design will build support, trust and a sense of community.”