Historic Building Brought Forth A Thriving Organization
Dr. James MacConnell, a former Superintendent of Beaverton Schools, is considered the father of educational facility planning. When he introduced a new concept in U.S. education: consolidation of small rural schools into one central hub, his vision of an innovative school was built in Beaverton in 1935 and served this area for well over 60 years.
In 2015, MacConnell’s vision was rejuvenated when the building he designed transitioned into Beaverton Activity Center in a grand opening celebrated by over 800
people. A year later, our city nominated BAC for the Michigan Municipal League’s Community Excellence Award in the category “Strength in Structure.” Against formidable competition from much bigger cities our success story earned the league members’ votes to win the coveted cup!
Now 87 years old, there’s new strength in this old structure because it’s so much more than a building now – it’s an organization focused on the future.
Only Four Votes Against Beaverton School Bond Issue. Vote Assures New School.
In an overwhelming vote of confidence in its school board and superintendent, electors of the Beaverton school district yesterday carried the proposed $36,000 bond issue for a new school building by a vote of 130 to 4.
Following the tabulation of votes last night school officials issued a statement thanking the Beaverton district electors for the expression of confidence indicated by the balloting. “While it is yet impossible to determine just when work on the new building will begin,” said Superintendent James MacConnell, “it may be within the next 60 days.” The $36,000 bond issue will represent Beaverton’s 55 per cent of the $65,000 called for in the plans for the new school building. The government PWA contribution totals $29,454.
Prior to the election, Board members pointed out that the new building is an absolute necessity and that the school district was actually making a saving of $30,000 if it accepted the government grant. At the present time classes are being held in five different buildings, four of them being temporary structures.
Plans for the new school building have been drawn by Warren S. Holmes, Lansing architect, who has worked in conjunction with the board in securing the PWA grant.
JAMES MACCONNELL, Superintendent of the Beaverton Rural Agricultural high school, begins his eighth year as head of that institution August 31, when school opens. Mr. MacConnell has been instrumental in making this one of the outstanding Smith-Hughes schools in the state. His Future Farmers’ organization has repeatedly carried away state honors. College officials in Smith-Hughes work say: “Jim is our No. 1 man.”
Gladwin County Record 8/12/1936
The Beaverton activity Center building was the first School Building that James D.MacConnell ever designed.http://www.cefpi.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4280 Dr. MacConnell is considered The Father of educational facility planning and was instrumental in nurturing this profession from its infancy to its significant stature in education today. Dr. MacConnell is best remembered as the director of Stanford University’s School Planning Laboratory, which he founded in 1951. The laboratory was the first center of applied and fundamental research on integrating school construction with child development, curriculum and instructional methods. The internationally renowned educator was CEFPI’s 1979 Planner of the Year and received the Distinguished Service Award in Educational Administration from the American Association of School Administrators in 1981.
Created in 1991 to honor the late Dr. MacConnell for his significant contributions to educational facility planning and the Council, CEFPI considers this to be its most prestigious award.
The James D. MacConnell Award recognizes a comprehensive planning process that results in educational facilities that serve the community, enhance the educational program, and meet multiple goals. Identified as one of the industry’s most prestigious awards, a “MacConnell project” exemplifies the Council’s belief that great schools begin with communication and planning. School facilities recognized in this award program might embody great architecture, but their successful components and characteristics were founded on an interactive process that engaged multiple stakeholders to create an educational environment that holds purpose and distinction within a community.
The James D. MacConnell Award will be presented to the architectural firm, school district, higher education institution, consultant, and/or construction management firm whose project best meets the following criteria:
A thorough, comprehensive planning process.
Development of comprehensive educational specifications and/or program of requirements.
A design that meets the requirements of the educational program, with special emphasis on the functionality of educational spaces.
Jury members will evaluate the project materials in the following areas:
INNOVATIVE PROCESS: The overall quality of the planning process
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: The degree of community involvement in the planning process
INNOVATIVE PROGRAMMING: The quality of the educational specifications/program of requirements resulting from the influence of the planning process
INNOVATIVE PLANNING: The uniqueness of the educational facility solution
SUPPORT OF LEARNING: The quality of the design response in fulfilling the needs of the educational curriculum
BALANCE OF NEEDS: Evidence that the planning process achieved multiple goals of the district & community
FUNCTIONAL ADAPTABILITY: The flexibility and adaptability of the design response
CREATIVE SITE DEVELOPMENT: Creativity in the site development in responding to the space program and educational specifications
OVERALL IMPRESSION: The overall impression that the project as a whole is a product of a comprehensive planning process
The jury will review all applications that have been assessed as complete with all materials included in the submission. The jury will select no more than 5 projects as “finalists” to further review and evaluate. Once selected as a “finalist” submitting firms may be asked for additional photographs and images. Finalists will also be asked to participate in an electronic interview and to create a video presentation for CEFPI use.http://www.cefpi.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4280